WEST WINDSOR, N.J. - The University of California San Diego women's rowing team was in action Friday on the opening day of the NCAA Division II Championships on Lake Mercer in West Windsor, N.J.
In the second of two Varsity 8 heat races, UC San Diego finished in third place with a time of 7:00.203. Central Oklahoma posted a winning time of 6:40.750, while Florida Tech was second in 6:42.257.
The first Varsity 8 heat was won by Western Washington (6:42.984) with Mercyhurst (6:45.184)
and Barry (6:50.194) following
By virtue of their heat wins, Central Oklahoma and Western Washington advance directly to Sunday's Grand Final. UCSD, Florida Tech, Mercyhurst, and Barry will race in Saturday morning's repechage, with the top two placers going to the Grand Final and the remaining two going to the Petite Final.
"These were the most challenging conditions we have raced in all year," said UC San Diego head coach Colin Truex. "We had a very competitive first 500 meters, but caught a crab that made it hard to get back into the race."
Florida Tech was in front early, rowing at 36 strokes per minute and crossing the 500-meter mark first at 1:35.817. Central Oklahoma was just behind and a constant 34 strokes per minute put the Bronchos in the lead around 600 meters. It was also at this distance that the Tritons caught a crab and fell behind. They crossed the 1000-meter mark at 3:25.117 while UCO was at 3:15.787 and FIT crossed at 3:16.987.
The rest of the race saw UC San Diego's deficit grow, while Florida Tech got within two seats of Central Oklahoma but the Bronchos held on and clinched the top spot in the last 100 meters.
In heat two of the Varsity 4 race, Mercyhurst took first in 7:39.335 to advance directly to Sunday's Grand Final. UCSD was second in 7:46.928.
Mercyhurst led wire-to-wire, rocketing out of the start at 36 strokes per minute. At about 500 meters and in rough water conditions, the Lakers had a boat-length of open water between them and the Tritons. At the 1500-meter mark, they led by eight seconds and cruised the rest of the way to the finish.
In the first Varsity 4 heat, Western Washington (7:39.344) bested Central Oklahoma (7:53.064) for a spot in the Grand Final.
UC San Diego and Central Oklahoma will go head-to-head in a repechage Saturday morning. The winner will advance ot the Grand Final.
UCSD is making its sixth appearance at the NCAA Division II Championships and first since 2013. In 2006, 2007, and 2008, the Tritons were eligible for the national title after qualifying Varsity 8 and Varsity 4 boats. They finished as runner-up to Western Washington in 2007 and 2008. In 2005 and 2013, UCSD qualified a Varsity 8 crew.
Barry is the two-time defending national champion.
For complete championship information, please visit the official championship page.
All championship action can be followed with a live video stream at ncaa.com/liveschedule.
1. Western Washington 6:42.984
2. Mercyhurst 6:45.184
3. Barry 6:50.194
1. Central Oklahoma 6:40.750
2. Florida Tech 6:42.257
3. UC San Diego 7:00.203
Repechage - Saturday, May 27, 7:36 a.m. (PT)
1. Florida Tech
4. UC San Diego
Petite Final (places 5-6) - Sunday, May 28, 6:36 a.m. (PT)
Grand Final (places 1-4) - Sunday, May 28, 6:48 a.m. (PT)
1. Central Oklahoma
2. Western Washington
1. Western Washington 7:39.344
2. Central Oklahoma 7:53.064
1. Mercyhurst 7:39.335
2. UC San Diego 7:46.928
Repechage - Saturday, May 27, 7:48 a.m. (PT)
1. UC San Diego
2. Central Oklahoma
Grand Final (places 1-3) - Sunday, May 28, 6:24 a.m. (PT)
2. Western Washington
NCAA DIVISION II NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
2016 - Barry
2015 - Barry
2014 - Humboldt State
2013 - Nova Southeastern
2012 - Humboldt State
2011 - Western Washington
2010 - Western Washington
2009 - Western Washington
2008 - Western Washington
2007 - Western Washington
2006 - Western Washington
2005 - Western Washington
2004 - Mercyhurst
2003 - UC Davis
2002 - UC Davis
UCSD AT THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
2013 - V8 3rd
2008 - V8 2nd, V4 2nd, team 2nd
2007 - V8 2nd, V4 2nd, team 2nd
2006 - V8 5th, V4 3rd, team 4th
2005 - V8 5th