LA JOLLA, Calif. - UC San Diego will be one of six Varsity 8 crews competing at the 2013 NCAA Division II Women's Rowing Championships, which start this week in Indianapolis.
The 12th annual NCAA Championships will be held May 31-June 2 at Eagle Creek Park with Notre Dame and the Indiana Sports Corporation serving as hosts.
UCSD, along with Central Oklahoma, earned at-large bids for their Varsity 8 crews. Four other schools - Barry, Mercyhurst, Nova Southeastern and Western Washington - qualified Varsity 8 and Varsity 4 boats and are eligible for the team championship.
"The team has worked incredibly hard to earn this opportunity," said first-year UCSD head coach Colin Truex. "I am so proud of them and look forward to seeing what they can do against the best of the best in Indianapolis."
The Tritons, ranked sixth nationally, will kick things off against top-ranked Barry and No. 4 Central Oklahoma in the first of two heats on Friday, May 31 (6:40 a.m. PT). No. 7 Mercyhurst, No. 2 Nova Southeastern and third-ranked Western Washington comprise the second heat (6:50 a.m. PT). The winners of each heat advance directly to the grand final on Sunday, June 2 (6:50 a.m. PT). The remaining four crews will race in a repechage on Saturday, June 1 (7:30 a.m. PT), with the top two finishers moving on to the grand final and the next two going to Sunday's petit final (6:40 a.m. PT).
Traveling to Indianapolis are Tritons Caitlyn Belza, Mary Beth Bilder, Alyssa Dixon-Word, Claire Duesdieker, Kelsey Henck, Shruti Kamath, Kelly Peterson, Michelle Robbins, Rachel Schneiderman, coxswain Catherine Sheffler and Ashley Travaglione.
UC San Diego is making its fifth overall appearance at the NCAA Championships and first since 2008. UCSD, which qualified a Varsity 8 in 2005 and as a team in 2006, 2007 and 2008, finished as the national runner-up in both 2007 and 2008.
UCSD's shell in Indianapolis will sport the moniker "NCAA '05" on its hull in recognition of the team's first trip to the National Championships.
The Tritons showed well in somewhat of a nationals preview on May 11, taking bronze behind Barry and Nova Southeastern in the Varsity 8 grand final at the 75th Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia.
In late April, UCSD won three medals at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championships, including a silver for the Varsity 8, which finished just .8 behind Western Washington. Robbins and Travaglione were named All-WIRA First Team, while Dixon-Word and Tanya Vander Vis were selected to the league's second team.
"This is a great group of individuals who have really come together as a boat and a team over the last few weeks," said Truex. "We are hitting our stride at the right time and I expect some great racing from them."
Humboldt State won the 2012 NCAA Division II National Championship, breaking Western Washington's string of seven consecutive titles. Mercyhurst (2004) and UC Davis (2002, 2003) are the only other crews to have won NCAA Division II national crowns.
All-session and single-session tickets for the 2013 Championships can be purchased at ncaa.com/tickets through May 29. Beginning May 30, tickets are available on-site (cash only). All-session tickets are $40, while student and senior citizen tickets are $25. The tickets include all three days of competition. Single-session tickets are $15, while student and senior citizen tickets are $10. Parking information is available at IndianaSportsCorp.org.
The entire championship can be followed by live video at http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule/.
2013 NCAA Division II Women's Rowing Championships
May 31-June 2
Eagle Creek Park
Friday, May 31
Varsity 8 Heat One (Barry, Central Oklahoma, UCSD) - 6:40 a.m.
Varsity 8 Heat Two (Mercyhurst, Nova Southeastern, Western Washington) - 6:50 a.m.
heat winners advance to grand final, others to repechage
Saturday, June 1
Varsity 8 Repechage - 7:30 a.m.
top two advance to grand final, bottom two to petit final
Sunday, June 2
Varsity 8 Petit Final - 6:40 a.m.
Varsity 8 Grand Final - 6:50 a.m.
all times Pacific
UCSD at the NCAA Division II Women's Rowing Championships
2005 - Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Varsity 8 Petit Final: UCSD 7:02.24, Florida Tech 7:05.68.
2006 - West Windsor, N.J.
Varsity 4 Grand Final: Western Washington 8:24.15, Barry 8:30.46, UCSD 8:35.13.
Varsity 8 Petit Final: UCSD 7:30.41, Dowling 7:32.84
2007 - Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Varsity 8 Grand Final: Western Washington 7:03.80, UCSD 7:09.51, Dowling 7:12.93, Nova Southeastern 7:28.30.
Varsity 4 Grand Final: Western Washington 8:08.72, UCSD 8:14.71, Nova Southeastern 8:44.83.
2008 - Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Varsity 8 Grand Final: Western Washington 6:53.20, UCSD 7:06.68, Dowling 7:10.19, Philadelphia 7:21.24.
Varsity 4 Grand Final: Western Washington 7:57.54, UCSD 8:10.95, Nova Southeastern 8:25.10.
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