May 29, 2005
Sacramento, CA - The Brown women's crew finished third overall at the 2005 NCAA Women's Rowing Championships held on Lake Natoma in Sacramento, CA on Sunday, securing the team's string of top three finishes at every NCAA Championship. Brown placed second in the varsity four grand final, third in the second varsity eight grand final and first in the varsity eight petite final. The University of California-Berkeley captured its first ever national title, winning the headlining varsity eight race. Virginia took second after winning both the second varsity eight and varsity four grand finals. The Bears had won four of the last six national crowns, including last season's.
The varsity four grand final was an end to end battle as Brown hung in the middle of the pack through the first half of the race while Washington and Virginia battled it out for first and second. The Bears made their move at the 1,000 meter mark, quickly gaining ground on both Washington and Virginia while distancing themselves from the rest of the competition. The final 500 meters saw little separation between the three leaders but the Cavaliers powered up and managed to grab a half length win. Brown and Washington went to a photo finish with the Bears just edging out the Huskies by .07 seconds. Virginia posted a time of 7:18.42 to Brown's 7:20.08 and Washington's 7:20.15. Cal took a fourth place finish while Wisconsin and USC placed fifth and sixth.
In the second varsity eight grand final, Virginia and Cal got off to a good start and were the leaders from start to finish. The Cavaliers got one step closer to capturing its first national title with a winning time of 6:34.19, two seconds ahead of Cal. Brown, Michigan and Ohio State were in a stranglehold for third place for a good part of the race. In the final stretch, the Bears were able to get an edge on the Buckeyes and Wolverines to secure third place with a time of 6:38.98. Ohio State took fourth while in-state rivals Michigan State and Michigan finished fifth and sixth respectively.
Heading into the final races, Virginia led the team standings with 36 point while Cal and Brown were tied for second with 31 points each. With the Bears out of the varsity eight grand final race, the title was either Virginia or Cal's for the taking. In fourth was Michigan State with 23 points and Washington in fifth with 22 points.
The Bears' varsity eight dominated their varsity eight petite final as they held the lead the whole way, timing in at 6:24.65. The win gave Brown a final total of 49 points at the championship, putting the team in good position to finish in the top three. Tennessee posted a second place time of 6:26.26 while Michigan rounded out the top three with a 6:29.67 finish. USC, Stanford and Washington took the final three places.
In the varsity eight grand final, Cal and Princeton were neck and neck with just 500 meters to go. The undefeated Cal Bears picked up their intensity in the final strokes of the race to come out ahead of the Tigers, capturing the schools first ever NCAA Championship. Virginia's fourth place finish was not enough as it finished with 63 points to Cal's 67. Harvard took third behind Princeton in the varsity eight while Yale was fifth and Ohio State sixth.
Brown still remains the winningest program in NCAA Championship history, picking up four national titles in the nine year's the NCAA has sponsored a women's rowing championship. The Bears have placed all three of their boats in the grand finals in all but two NCAA Championships.
Varsity Four Grand Final:
Second Varsity Eight Grand Final:
Varsity Eight Petite Final:
Final Team Standings
4-Ohio State-42 points
10-Michigan State-27 points
Senior Mira Mehta (cox), junior Caitlin Flynn (1), sophomore Rachel Dearborn (2), junior Gillian Almy (3), senior Catherine Starr (4), junior Meg Anderson (5), senior Katie Reynolds (6), freshman Hannah Garrett (7), junior Deborah Dryer (8).
Second Varsity Eight
Senior Alex Agloro (cox), freshman Vanessa Rathbone (1), sophomore Elizabeth Fison (2), junior Maggie Cheney (3), senior Meaghan Kelly (4), freshman Christine Flynn (5), sophomore Devorah West (6), senior Megan Wachs (7), sophomore Jeanette Saraidaridis (8).