No. 5 Virginia Advances Three Boats to Semifinals at NCAA Championships
May 31, 2013
UPDATE – Saturday 5 a.m.: Saturday’s schedule has been back to an 8:30 a.m. start. The Cavalier V8 will go off at 9:10, with the 2V8 at 9:40 and the V4 at 10 a.m.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.–The fifth-ranked Virginia rowing team advanced all three boats to the semifinals on the first day of the NCAA Championships Friday morning (May 31) on Eagle Creek Park Lake in Indianapolis, Ind.
On a rainy and windy morning, the Cavaliers’ Varsity Eight and Varsity Four picked up victories in their respective heats, while the Second Varsity Eight placed second in its heat to qualify for Saturday’s semifinals, which begin at 8:30 a.m., with the V8 followed by the 2V8 and the V4. Live results and live video links will be available and linked through VirginiaSports.com.
The top three teams from each semifinal will advance to Sunday’s grand finals (places 1-6), while the last three will move onto the petite finals (places 7-12) on Sunday.
“To have all three boats advance to the semis and not have to come back for the repechages is awesome and a good first step for us,” UVa head coach Kevin Sauer said.
“The morning went as well as we hoped it could go,” assistant coach Brett Sickler said. “We’ve had three weeks since the ACC Championships and we changed it up and looked at a lot of (lineup) combinations, but the biggest thing we talked about with the team was leaving egos at the door and putting the team first. Everybody did that this morning and that’s why we were able to be successful in all three boats.”
The Varsity Eight started slow, but had gained a solid lead by the halfway point of the race and earned the victory in a time of 6:49.64, ahead of Washington (6:56.88), Michigan (7:02.31), Wisconsin, Gonzaga and Rhode Island. The fourth-seeded UVa boat posted the second-fastest time out of the four heats (USC – 6:48.94).
In the Second Varsity Eight, the Cavaliers jumped out to a lead on top-seeded Ohio State, but Buckeyes had a strong second half to edge UVa, 6:50.74 to 6:55.79. Yale was third in 6:59.43, followed by UCLA and Washington State. OSU and UVa, seeded eighth, notched the top two times over the four heats.
The Cavalier Varsity Four started strong and never looked back, winning in a time of 8:02.09, ahead of Yale (8:06.89), Brown (8:15.68), Harvard, Boston University and Marist. The 11th-seeded Virginia boat posted the fourth-fastest time, behind only USC (7:52.32), OSU (7:55.26) and Washington (8:02.09).
“The Varsity Eight was close at the start, but stretched out the lead to the finish, so that was a good race for them,” Sauer said. “Our 2V8 really took it to the top seed Ohio State and was able to finish second and qualify straight to the semifinals, which was big, and our Varsity Four exhibited an awesome race to win their heat.”
For live updates on UVa’s races from Indianapolis, follow @UVaRowing on Twitter.
Varsity Eight: Coxswain Sarah Jordan, Stroke: Constanze Duell, 7: Chandler Lally, 6: Kristine O’Brien, 5: Sarah Cowburn, 4: Fiona Schlesinger, 3: Susanne Grainger, 2: Hemingway Benton, Bow: Elle Murray