Sarah Marshall
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History Made – Huskies Sweep 2017 NCAA Champs

by Sarah Marshall

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. — For the first time in 21 years, a single school has swept each event at the NCAA Division I Rowing Championships as the University of Washington claimed gold in each of the three races.

Entering the weekend top-ranked and riding a wave of energy after sweeping the PAC-12 Championships, the Huskies scored 132 points to earn the title ahead of California (123) and Michigan (112).

“Today they showed what great teammates do for one another” Yasmin Farooq, UW Head Coach

No. 1-ranked Washington, under first-year head coach Yasmin Farooq, won all nine of its races during the three-day regatta, including heats and semifinal races.

“I was just so impressed by how every single person on this team stepped up from the first day,” said head coach Yasmin Farooq. “They really, really did. Today they showed what great teammates do for one another. We always viewed it as a team championship where every person mattered.

“Every single boat executed the race plan perfectly. It took a lot of courage for them to do that because it required a lot of commitment early in the race that most people would think would be unsustainable. Every one of those boats delivered on all 240 of those strokes in that race.”

Farooq, the two-time U.S. Olympic women’s eight coxswain who won a NCAA Championship as head coach at Stanford in 2009, is the first coach ever to win the title with two different schools.  Additionally, no other coach had ever before won a NCAA rowing title in his or her first season at the winning school.

Division II

The Western Washington University women’s rowing team won the program’s eighth NCAA Division II National Championship edging out Central Oklahoma in the team competition.

The Vikings, led by 19th-year head coach John Fuchs, returned to the top of the podium for the first time since a streak of seven consecutive national championships from 2005-2011. The championship was also the 11th team title in WWU Athletics history.

“This is an awesome feeling for the team and the athletic department,” said Fuchs. “The last time we were here we finished second to end our streak. To come full circle and to be back on top of the podium here is a great feeling.”

WWU’s one-point victory marked one of the closest in the 15-year history of the current Division II scoring system, with 2014 (Humboldt State 16, Nova Southeastern 15) and 2004 (Mercyhurst 18, Humboldt State 17) also featuring one-point wins.

Division III

For the second time in three years, the Division III championship went to the Bates women’s rowing team who narrowly defeated Williams by just one point on Saturday morning.

“This is so much more than a victory for those of us who got to be on the water today” Molly Pritz, Bates Senior Women’s Captain

The Bobcats won the second varsity eight grand final handily with a time of 6:48.332 but the varsity eight final would be a bit more dramatic. The last race of the day, Bates was able to hold off Wellesley for a second-place finish in a time of 6:37.652 behind Williams’ 6:35.379. The Bobcat’s time was good enough to take the title back to Maine for the third time in the program’s 11 NCAA appearances.

Senior captain and stroke seat of the first varsity eight, Molly Pritz (Ithaca, N.Y.) summed up the team effort that it took for Bates to bring home the win.

“This is so much more than a victory for those of us who got to be on the water today,” said Pritz. “This is for everyone.”

The victory on Mercer comes after only six weeks of water time for the Bobcats as Maine had an unseasonably cold spring plagued by ice.

Overall points standings:

Division I

  1. Washington – 132
  2. California – 123
  3. Michigan – 112
  4. Texas – 108
  5. Ohio State – 106
  6. Stanford – 105
  7. Yale – 96
  8. Brown – 91
  9. Wisconsin – 86
  10. Princeton – 85

Division II

  1. Western Washington – 17
  2. Central Oklahoma – 16
  3. Mercyhurst – 12
  4. UC San Diego – 5



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