WWU advances to the Grand Final in both eights and fours in 2018 NCAA Rowing Championships. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
Vikings Advance Both Boats to Grand Finals at NCAA Rowing Championships
May 25, 2018
SARASOTA, Fla. – The Western Washington University women’s rowing team won both of its heats during the opening day of the 2018 NCAA Rowing Championships on Friday morning, with both the Eights and Fours advancing to Saturday’s Grand Finals at Nathan Benderson Park.
With the regatta schedule modified due to unfavorable weather conditions later in the weekend, Western is scheduled to row for its 9thNCAA Division II national championship on Saturday. Central Oklahoma also won both of its preliminary heats to advance directly to the Grand Finals that have been rescheduled for Saturday (instead of Sunday), with the final spots in the finals being decided later Friday afternoon in the repechage (weather permitting).
Western’s eight-oared boat was first to hit the water on Friday, racing against UC San Diego and Barry in the second of two heats. The Vikings put together a composed race, holding off a strong start by UCSD, and then dominated the final 500 meters to push past the Tritons for a one-boat-length victory. WWU finished the 2,000-meter course in 6:54.094, with UCSD crossing in 2nd place at 6:57.572, and Barry in 3rd place at 7:15.514.
The Vikings were matched up against Mercyhurst in the first of two heats of the Division II fours, and Western led wire-to-wire to record an open-water victory. WWU finished in 7:48.299, well ahead of the Lakers which clocked 8:32.075. Central Oklahoma won the second heat to also advance, with Mercyhurst and Florida Tech set to race later this afternoon in the repechage with the winner qualifying for the three-boat Grand Final.
WWU is racing in the NCAA Rowing Championships for the 17th time in the last 18 seasons and is an 8-time champion in the event. The Vikings won seven consecutive championships from 2005-2011 and returned to the top of the podium last season. Western Washington, Central Oklahoma, Florida Tech and Mercyhurst are competing for the 2018 NCAA II team title, while UC San Diego and Barry both raced an at-large eight. WWU edged UCO 17-16 last year to win the 2017 NCAA Division II Championship.
Here are results from the four Division II races during the Friday morning heats at the NCAA Rowing Championships:
Eights – Heat 1:
Central Oklahoma (6:51.784)
Florida Tech (7:04.691)
Eights – Heat 2:
Western Washington (6:54.094)
UC San Diego (6:57.572)
Fours – Heat 1:
Western Washington (7:48.299)
Fours – Heat 2:
Central Oklahoma (7:42.502)
Florida Tech (7:53.024)
The remaining schedule for the 2018 NCAA Rowing Championships will be finalized later today as lightning storms have pushed back the afternoon session of racing and the Division II repechage. Updates on when WWU will race next will be posted via social media on Twitterand Facebook.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Fans can follow the 2018 NCAA Rowing Championships online with a live webcast and live results during all three days of the event. The NCAA will have commentators for each race, along with an added drone angle to enhance the live coverage: