May 31, 2008
Gold River, CA - The Brown women's crew put itself in position to defend its NCAA National Championship by placing all three boats - varsity, second varsity and fours - into Sunday's Grand Finals at the 2008 NCAA Women's Rowing Championship, held at Lake Natoma, near Sacramento, California.
Joining the Bears with the varsity, second varsity and fours in the Grand Finals are Cal-Berkeley and Washington.
Coach John Murphy's crew is the most successful rowing squad in NCAA history, finishing in the top three in every NCAA Rowing Championship since its inception in 1997.
"I'm pleased to have three boats in the Grand Finals and we're looking forward to Sunday's racing," said Murphy. "Our fours rowed a lot better today than yesterday and really stepped it up. I'm proud of them."
Brown's varsity eight (coxswain Sarah Wu `08, Corey Finnerty-Ludwig `09, Hope Richardson `11, Aubrey Fitzpatrick `10, Hannah Malvin `10, Jessica Stage `09, Nicole McDonald `10, Lauren Libfraind `11 and Emma Olson `08) earned a berth in the Grand Finals with a semifinal win in the most competitive heat of the day, rowing in 6:34.93. Washington was second in the heat at 6:36.37, followed by Michigan State at 6:36.64. The Spartans edged Virginia by .28 of a second, keeping the Cavaliers out of the Grand Finals.
"Our varsity also performed well, racing against an outstanding field," said Murphy. "I'm very happy with their performance."
Joining the Bears, Huskies and Spartans in the Grand finals are Yale, Cal and Stanford, the top three finishers in the first heat.
The key race of the day for the Bears came in the fours repechage, The Brown fours (coxswain Ellie Smith `11, Molly Getz `08, Catherine Borders `11, Casey Kelsey `11 and Julia Simmons `11) needed to finish in the top two in their heat to advance to the Grand Finals. The Bears led for most of the race, before being edged out by Cal at the finish line by .15 of a second. Brown placed second in the heat with a time of 7:32.21, while Cal came in at 7:32.06 with a late sprint.
The Bears' second varsity eight (coxswain Christina Caligiuri `09, Corlis Gross `10, Carly Traub `09, Sarah Palomo `10, Vanessa Rathbone `08, Joanna Jacob `09, Libby Boghossian `09, Christine Flynn `08 and Anna Vresilovic `10) earned a spot in Sunday's Grand Finals by winning its heat on Friday.
The fours Grand Final will be held on Sunday at 10:15 a.m. (PDT) followed by the second varsity Grand Final at 10:45 a.m., and the varsity Grand Final at 11:30 a.m.
Semifinal Heat #2 (top 3 advance) Brown 6:34.93 Washington 6:36.37 Michigan St. 6:36.64 Virginia 6:36.92 USC 6:46.00 Michigan 6:48.60
Semifinal Heat #1 (top 2 advance) Yale 6:35.16 Cal 6:38.66 Stanford 6:39.93 Harvard 6:42.58 Princeton 6:48.51 Washington St. 6:54.01
Fours Repechage Heat (top 2 advance) Cal 7:32.06 Brown 7:32.21 Ohio State 7:38.58 Wisconsin 7:52.25 Harvard 8:04.84