WC women win petite final of first varsity eight at NCAAs

Washington College’s women competed in their seventh straight NCAA Division III rowing championships last week. The highlight was a victory over No. 10-ranked Pacific Lutheran in the petite final of the first varsity eight event.

INDIANAPOLIS — Washington overtook Pacific Lutheran with about 500 meters remaining in the petite final of the women’s first varsity eight Saturday to finish seventh.

This was the high point for the Shore ladies as they made a seventh straight full-team appearance in the NCAA Division III rowing championships.

In the second varsity eight petite final, also on Saturday, Washington was not able to hold on to an early lead and was beaten by nearly 3 seconds by Ithaca.

The championship regatta was held at the Indianapolis Rowing Center at Eagle Creek Park.

Overall, Washington finished eighth in an eight-school field chock-full of nationally ranked talent.

“Both the 1V and the 2V raced stronger and much more competitively than I had ever had during my time here,” said Washington’s third-year had coach Kari Hughes. “To see our boats battle so strongly with the top crews of the nation was such a great moment for us and for the future of the program. These athletes have taken their rowing and the program to another level.”

Washington totaled 24 points, just one point behind No. 10-ranked Pacific Lutheran.

Top-ranked Bates, which won the grand finals of the first and second varsity eights, piled up the maximum 56 team points to capture its third consecutive NCAA title.

No. 3-ranked Worcester Polytechnic Institute was a credible runner-up with 51 points. Then came No. 2 Wellesley (46), No. 4 Wesleyan (38), No. 5 Ithaca (35) and No. 6 Hamilton (33).

Washington’s first varsity and second varsity eights placed fourth of four crews in their respective heats and fourth in their respective repechages.

The top two place-finishers in each of two heats and the top two place-finishers in the repechage race advanced to the six-boat grand final.

The petite final determined seventh and eighth places.

Getting a second chance against Pacific Lutheran in the petite final for first varsity eights, Washington made up water steadily to pull into a dead heat about 1,500 meters into the race. Once in front Washington held the lead, crossing the finish line in 7 minutes, 23.39 seconds. Pacific Lutheran stopped the timer in 7:24.94.

In the second varsity eight petite final, Ithaca (7:44.43) overcame an early deficit to defeat Washington (7:47.15).

Washington’s boat lineups are printed here.

First varsity eight: Olivia Robb (coxswain), Erika Reynolds (stroke), Gabrielle Francis (seven), Agnes Anderson (six), Emma Hogan (five), Breanna Lanphear (four), Karis Marano (three), Leslie Collins (two) and Kelin McCloskey (bow).

Second varsity eight: Emily Booth (coxswain), Caroline Jackson (stroke), Annie Krysztofiak (seven), Analiese Bush (six), Emma Dodsworth (five), MB Spargo (four), Julia Kuchnio (three), Ana Gansz (two) and Kitri Post (bow).

Lizzie Bienert and Tegan McBride were the alternates.

Friday’s races were scheduled for one morning session and one afternoon session, however, debris on the course from storms the previous night delayed racing until 4 p.m. Additional cleanup Saturday morning pushed back the finals about 40 minutes.

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