Women’s Crew Wins Gold in Second Varsity Eight, Finishes Third as a Team at 2015 NCAA Championships

Women’s Crew Wins Gold in Second Varsity Eight, Finishes Third as a Team at 2015 NCAA Championships

Final Team Standings | Heat Sheets (All Days)

GOLD RIVER, Calif. – Brown University women's crew won gold in the second varsity eight, took third in the varsity four, and finished in third as a team on the third and final day at the 2015 NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center on Sunday morning.

Women's Crew NCAA Championships, Final Day -- May 31, 2015
May 31, 2015

Brown University women's crew won gold in the second varsity eight, took third in the varsity four, and finished in third as a team at the 2015 NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships. Isabel Runge, Rachel Gottlieb, Molly Sandza, and Whitney Naylor provide insights on the Bears' final day at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center.

"I feel really good about being where we are facing such tough competition," head coach John Murphy said. "These crews out here are exceptional. It gets faster every year I think, and this year was no exception."

One of three programs to compete in all 19 NCAA Championships, the Bears have now finished in the top three of the team standings in 15 of the 19 championships.

"It was great being able to pull off a third-place finish. It's awesome coming in third two years in a row," senior 1V8 coxswain Molly Sandza said. "It's also great we were able to do it a little differently with the 2V and V4 performing so well. It was awesome to see those lower boats get on the podium for themselves and show our depth."

The Bears' second varsity eight, partaking in the grand finals for the 18th time, won gold in the event for the seventh time and for the first time since 2010. The second varsity eight won all three of its races on the weekend, posting a 15-0 mark. Brown's varsity four, racing in the grand finals for the 16th time, earned a top-three, podium finish for the 12th time.

"The results were all mixed up across the country so it was kind of like coming into the beginning of the season," senior and 2V8 4-seat Rachel Gottlieb said. "It's really fun to line up against the top crews and end up coming out on top. We trust each other a lot. It's incredible to be racing with all these girls who spent all year working so hard."

In the team standings, Ohio State became the first program to win three straight NCAA titles with 126 points. California came in second with 114 points while Brown came in third with 112 points. Washington (110) and Virginia (104) rounded out the top five.

"Each year it's gotten harder and harder not just within the team but in the sport in general," senior 1V8 bow seat Whitney Naylor said. "We've had to keep up with that, and our showing this year and last year has really shown that. It's all paid off."

Brown's first varsity eight won the petite final for the third time in program history – also winning in 2003 and 2005. The Bears have finished in the top three in the point standings each time the 1V8 has won the petite final, coming in second in 2003 and third in 2005.

In Brown's first race of the day, the second-seeded varsity four put itself in a position to win out of lane three before coming in third at the finish with a time of 7:13.070 – just .15 seconds behind second place and sixth-seeded Yale (7:12.920) and .31 seconds behind race winner and third-seeded Virginia (7:12.760). The Bears beat top-seeded Washington (7:21.730), fourth-seeded Ohio State (7:23.710), and ninth-seeded Princeton (7:29.930) by open water.

The second varsity eight took gold in its grand final behind a time of 6:25.990, holding a three-seat lead for much of the race and outdistancing sixth-seeded Ohio State (6:27.110) by 1.120 seconds. The third-seeded Bears out of lane two also defeated top-seeded Washington (6:32.050), 12th-seeded Yale (6:34.810), fourth-seeded California (6:35.140), and seventh-seeded Washington State (6:39.720).

"It's a very unreal feeling, knowing that all the work throughout the season, throughout the year, has really paid off," junior 2V8 coxswain Isabel Runge said. "We're just so proud of each other and our entire team."

In Brown's final race of the day, the first varsity eight captured first place in the petite final, starting out of lane one and clocking in at 6:24.727. The fourth-seeded Bears topped seventh-seeded Michigan (6:27.251) by 2.524 seconds as well as 11th-seeded Washington St. (6:29.013), 10th-seeded Indiana (6:31.165), ninth-seeded Princeton (6:32.405), and 13th-seeded Radcliffe (6:34.510).

"It's been a long four years, and the sport has changed a lot. I just think every year the girls have responded really well and pushed themselves harder," Sandza said. "It's been a great team to be a part of, and we've learned a lot. I'm so excited to see what they do next year." 

Brown Schedule/Results (42-8)
Friday (18-2)
9:40 a.m. – I Eights – Heat 4, Lane 1 – Third Place (3-2) – 6:26.690
10:10 a.m. – II Eights – Heat 3, Lane 1 – First Place (5-0) – 6:30.271
10:40 a.m. – Fours – Heat 2, Lane 1 – First Place (4-0) – 7:21.195
4:00 p.m. – I Eights – Repechage 2, Lane 2 – First Place (6-0) – 6:26.862
Saturday (11-4)
9:00 a.m. – I Eights – A/B Semifinal 2, Lane 5 – Fourth Place (2-3) – 6:39.211
9:40 a.m. – II Eights – A/B Semifinal 2, Lane 2 – First Place (5-0) – 6:32.344
10:20 a.m. – Fours – A/B Semifinal 2, Lane 1 – Second Place (4-1) – 7:24.459
Sunday (13-2)
8:12 a.m. – Fours – Grand Final, Lane 3 – Third Place (3-2) – 7:13.070
8:36 a.m. – II Eights – Grand Final, Lane 2 – First Place (5-0) – 6:25.990
8:48 a.m. – I Eights – Petite Final, Lane 1 – First Place (5-0) – 6:24.727 

Brown Sunday Race Results

Varsity Four – Grand Final
1. Virginia – 7:12.760
2. Yale – 7:12.920
3. Brown – 7:13.070
4. Washington – 7:21.730
5. Ohio State – 7:23.710
6. Princeton – 7:29.930 

Second Varsity Eight – Grand Final
1. Brown – 6:25.990
2. Ohio State – 6:27.110
3. Washington – 6:32.050
4. Yale – 6:34.810
5. California – 6:39.720
6. Washington St. – 6:39.720

First Varsity Eight – Petite Final
1. Brown – 6:24.727
2. Michigan – 6:27.251
3. Washington St. – 6:29.013
4. Indiana – 6:31.165
5. Princeton – 6:32.405
6. Radcliffe – 6:34.510 

Final Team Standings
1. Oho State – 126
2. California – 114
3. Brown – 112
4. Washington – 110
5. Virginia – 104
6. Stanford – 100
7. Texas – 99
8. Washington St. – 92
9. Yale – 86
10. Michigan – 84
11. Indiana – 73
12. Princeton – 73
13. Wisconsin – 65
14. Radcliffe – 60
15. Southern California – 45
16. Notre Dame – 41
17. Gonzaga – 37
18. Northeastern – 29
19. UCF – 25
20. Massachusetts – 21
21. Navy – 16
22. Jacksonville – 6 

Race Notes
Brown, ranked No. 1 in the latest CRCA Coaches Poll, raced against 10 crews ranked in the top 15 of the poll on the day – No. 2 California, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Virginia, No. 5 Washington, No. 6 Michigan, No. 8 Yale, No. 9 Washington St., No. 10 Princeton, No. 13 Radcliffe, and No. 14 Indiana … The varsity four finished the season with a 33-3 overall record and a 17-3 record on Lake Natoma … The second varsity eight concluded the year with a 36-1 overall record and a 20-1 mark on Lake Natoma … The first varsity eight finished the season with an overall record of 36-7 and a mark of 20-7 on Lake Natoma … The 1V8 went 7-0 vs. Radcliffe and 4-0 vs. Princeton on the year … The 2V8 went 4-0 vs. Yale on the season … The 2V8 also beat Yale and Washington St. in the semifinals and Ohio State in the heats … The 1V8 also beat Princeton in the semis and Radcliffe in the heats and semis … The 2V8 has finished in the top five in 16 of 19 NCAA championships and in the top three in 15 of 19 … The V4 has finished in the top five in 16 of 19 championships … Brown has finished in the top five in the team standings in 17 of the 19 NCAA Championships.

Boat Lineups