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SAN DIEGO, Calif.-Virginia’s first Varsity Four won the V4 grand final as the top-ranked Cavalier rowing team completed action at the 39th edition of the San Diego Crew Classic Sunday (April 1) in San Diego.

“Congrats to the Varsity Four,” head coach Kevin Sauer said. “This trip showed that we can compete with the top teams in the country and are making progress. We look forward to racing again at the UVa Invitational at Lake Monticello on April 14-15.”

The first V4 crew of coxswain Molly Frear, Ruth Retzinger, Kaity McCullough, Elle Murray and Chandler Lally won the grand final in a time of 7:58.12 to win the Karen Plumleigh Cortney Cup.

The Cavaliers jumped out to a four-seat advantage by the 500-meter mark and stretched out the lead to a little more than a boat length by the end of the 2,000-meter course. Washington State finished second in 8:02.23, while UCLA, Tennessee, USC and Washington rounded out the field.

“This weekend was a positive step toward the progress we need to make,” associate head coach Steve Pritzker said. “While Saturday’s racing brought some challenges, the team responded well in difficult conditions.”

In the first Varsity Eight grand final for the Jessop-Whittier Cup, UVa made a late charge, but could not overtake USC, who went wire-to-wire, won in a time of 7:03.93. The Cavaliers were in second most of the race and finished in 7:06.79, defeating boats from Washington, California, UCLA and Stanford.

Virginia’s second Varsity Eight boat was within inches of second place, but Washington barely edged the Cavaliers by 0.12 with a time of 7:19.43. UVa, who was in fourth through the 1,000-meter mark and made a late charge to battle for second, crossed the line in a time of 7:19.55 and finished ahead of boats from Stanford, Cal and USC. UCLA won the Jackie Ann Stitt Hungness Trophy in a time of 7:14.24.

The second Varsity Four won the petite final to finish seventh overall in a time of 8:10.32. The Cavaliers were second to Clemson after 250 meters, but pushed to the lead by the 500-meter mark and never looked back, defeating the University of British Columbia, who finished in 8:18.16, by almost eight seconds. Clemson, San Diego, Oregon State and Texas also competed in the race.

Next up, the Cavaliers host the UVa Invitational on Lake Monticello on April 14-15.

Virginia Lineups

First Varsity Eight: Coxswain Sidney Thorsten, Keziah Beall, Martha Kuzzy, Kristine O’Brien, Sarah Cowburn, Brandy Herald, Susanne Grainger, Fiona Schlesinger, Sarah Borchelt

Second Varsity Eight: Coxswain Cristine Candland, MacKenzie Leahy, Carolyn Glandorf, Hemingway Benton, Kaitlin Fanikos, Maddie Keating, Marelle Myers, Morgan Joseph, Cara Linnenkohl

First Varsity Four: Coxswain Molly Frear, Ruth Retzinger, Kaity McCullough, Elle Murray, Chandler Lally

Second Varsity Four: Coxswain Sarah Jordan, Lizzy Youngling, Chelsea Simpson, Hunter Terry, Emily Pik

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