The defending national champion WWU Vikings are ranked No. 1 in the first Division II poll of the 2018 season. Photo: WWU Athletics
WWU Rowing No. 1 in First National Poll of 2018
March 28, 2018
The Western Washington University rowing team is ranked No. 1 in the first NCAA Division II USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association coaches poll presented by Pocock Racing Shells.
The defending national champion Vikings received three of the five first-place votes and totaled 146 points to edge No. 2 UC San Diego (140 points) in the first poll of the 2018 season. Of the eight teams listed in the poll, five are from the West Region, including No. 5 Central Oklahoma, No. 6 Humboldt State and No. 7 Seattle Pacific.
WWU finished the 2017 season as the No. 1 team in the rankings for the ninth time in program history by winning its eighth NCAA II national championship. The elite program won seven consecutive national titles from 2005-2011 and regained the top spot on the podium last May at the national regatta in West Windsor, New Jersey. The program placed among the top three nationally from 2002 to 2014 with its 4+ and 8+ reaching grand finals every time during that stretch, and has competed in the NCAA Championships in 16 of the last 17 seasons.
Western opened the 2018 season at the PLU Invitational winning three of four races, and returns to competition this Saturday at the Husky Open on Montlake Cut in Seattle. This weekend’s regatta begins a stretch of six consecutive weeks of competition, with the goal of qualifying for the NCAA Championships that will be held May 25-27 at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida.
The inaugural USRowing/CRCA Coaches Poll features a Northwest flavor, with the University of Washington topping the NCAA Division I rankings. The Vikings and Huskies each won national championships last season and duo were nominated for the Sports Story of the Year for the 83rd Annual MTRWestern Sports Star of the Year. Additional collegiate programs from Washington in the national polls include Washington State (#13/DI), Seattle Pacific (#7/DII), Pacific Lutheran (#11/DIII) and Puget Sound (#13/DIII).
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