WWU places second in eight and four qualifying heats at nationals
May 25, 2012
WEST WINDSOR, New Jersey - Defending national champion Western Washington University placed second in both eight and four qualifying heats in opening-day action Friday at the NCAA Division II Women's Rowing National Championships being held at Lake Mercer.
Both shells will compete in repechage heats Saturday. The eight races at 10:30 a.m. ET against Barry FL, Central Oklahoma and Mercyhurst PA, with the top two advancing to Sunday's grand final at 9:45 a.m. ET. The four goes against Mercyhurst at 10:45 a.m. ET with the winner advancing to Sunday's grand final at 9 a.m. ET.
"We went out with a specific idea of how to run it and things played out interestingly," said WWU head coach John Fuchs (14th year). "We just need to qualify tomorrow and get in the final. That's the cool thing about the format is that they give everyone a second chance. You either qualify Friday or qualify Saturday. We just have qualified Friday for so long. We've always had a plan for qualifying Saturday, and now we're going to use it."
On Friday, the Vikings' eight finished second to Nova Southeastern, completing the 2,000-meter course in 6:56.41. Nova Southeastern's winning time was 6:53.89 with Central Oklahoma third in 7:19.27. The race start was delayed because of a mechanical problem with the Central Oklahoma shell.
Humboldt State took the other eight heat in 6:53.55. Mercyhurst was second in 6:56.65 and Barry third in 7:24.33.
In the fours qualifying heats, Humboldt State defeated WWU, 7:47.50 to 8:04.79; and Nova Southeastern beat Mercyhurst 8:06.21 to 8:16.73.
"It's great to see rowing at the Division II level come this far," Fuchs said. "The speed has definitely improved everywhere and it's a lot more fun."
WWU, which entered ranked No.1 nationally in the latest Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Poll, has won the last seven national titles, the longest string in any NCAA rowing division.
Illustrating how dominate the Vikings have been during that stretch, the repechage heats will be just the second for the four, the other being in 2009, and the first for the eight.
NOTE: Western Washington University Director of Athletics Lynda Goodrich shared a humorous -- and uplifting -- story recently about collaboration among the University of Washington, Washington State University and WWU crew teams:
"The nationals are in New Jersey, so the University of Washington coach, Bob Ernst, is using WWU coach John Fuch's truck and our trailer to haul our shells and the UW shells to New Jersey. John will haul them home. But last week on the way out, John's truck broke down in Montana. The dealer could not get it fixed in time, so Bob Ernst called the Washington State University coach (whose team did not qualify for nationals), and the WSU coach drove their truck to Montana for Bob to use to continue the trip ... so, we had the UW coach driving a WSU truck hauling a WWU trailer ... that's what I call teamwork and a good example of the state's universities working together."
NCAA II National Championships - Results
Friday - Qualifying Heats
Saturday - Repechage Heats
10:30 a.m. ET - Western Washington, Central Oklahoma, Mercyhurst and Barry 10:45 a.m. ET - Western Washington, Mercyhurst
Sunday - Finals
9 a.m. ET - Grand Final 4 9:15 a.m. ET - Petite Final 8 9:30 a.m. ET - Grand Final 8
Varsity 8 - Coxswain Alix Crilly (Sr., Wenatchee), stroke Jean Piette (Sr., Vancouver/Columbia River), No. 7 Megan Northey (Sr., Brier/King's), No.6 Katie Woolsey (Sr., North Bend/Mount Si), No.5 Kate Berni (Sr., Silverdale/Central Kitsap), No.4 Alyssa Dewey (Sr., Bend/Mountain View), No.3 Stephanie Bluhm (Jr., Auburn/Mountain View), No.2 Kelsey Baker (Sr., Gig Harbor), bow Carson MacPherson-Krutsky (Sr., Seattle/Garfield)
Varsity 4 - Coxswain Maeghan Callegeri (Fr., Kirkland/Lake Washington), stroke Christine Henie (So., Chugiak, AK), No.3 Olivia Rowland (So., Seattle/Holy Names), No.2 Regan Wessman (So., Kirkland/Lake Washington), bow Claire Marine (So., Enumclaw)
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