SARASOTA, Fla. - The University of California San Diego women's rowing team has advanced to the Varsity 8 Grand Final at the NCAA Division II Championships.
Friday at Nathan Benderson Park, UC San Diego was second in its morning heat race and went on to win the V8 Repechage in the afternoon to secure its spot in Saturday's Grand Final.
UC San Diego led wire-to-wire and crossed the finish line in 6:36.734 to find victory in the Repechage, which was delayed for three hours due to lightning in the Sarasota area. Florida Tech was a close second in 6:39.141, while Barry was third in 6:42.859 and Mercyhurst was fourth in 6:43.154.
By virtue of their top-two finishes in the Repechage, UC San Diego and Florida Tech will join Central Oklahoma and Western Washington in the Grand Final. COU and WWU earned their spots by winning their respective heats earlier in the day. Barry and Mercyhurst will go head-to-head in Saturday's Petite Final.
In their three-boat heat race earlier in the day, the Tritons were second with a time of 6:57.572. Western Washington won it in 6:54.094 and Barry was a distant third in 7:15.514.
UC San Diego led for much of the heat and had a dominant first 1,500 meters. After jumping in front off the start, the Tritons were ahead by just over a full second at the 1,500-meter mark. However, Western Washington made its move with about 200 meters to go and won by a boat length.
In the first heat, Central Oklahoma cruised to victory in 6:51.784. Florida Tech placed second with a time of 7:04.691 and Mercyhurst was third in 7:28.039.
UC San Diego, along with Barry, earned Varsity 8 at-large berths in the NCAA Championships field. Central Oklahoma, Florida Tech, Mercyhurst, and Western Washington are fielding full teams with Varsity 8 as well as Varsity 4 crews, making them eligible for a team national title.
In the latest national rankings (May 16), Central Oklahoma is No. 1, Western Washington is No. 2, UC San Diego is No. 3, Florida Tech is No. 4, Barry is No. 5, and Mercyhurst is No. 6.
UC San Diego is making its seventh appearance at the NCAA Division II Championships. Saturday will mark the fourth Varsity 8 Grand Final outing for the Tritons. The crew placed second in 2007 and 2008 and third in 2013.
2018 DIVISION II NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Friday, May 25
Varsity 8 Heat 1
1. Central Oklahoma 6:51.784
2. Florida Tech 7:04.691
3. Mercyhurst 7:28.039
Varsity 8 Repechage
1. UC San Diego 6:36.734
2. Florida Tech 6:39.141
3. Barry 6:42.859
4. Mercyhurst 6:43.154
Saturday, May 26
Varsity 8 Grand Final - 5:26 a.m. PT
UC San Diego
Varsity 8 Petite Final - 5:50 a.m. PT
NCAA DIVISION II NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
2017 - Western Washington
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
UC SAN DIEGO AT THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
2017 - V8 6th, V4 4th, team 4th
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