Varsity Eight Takes Bronze At NCAA Championships
May 27, 2012
WEST WINDSOR, N.J.-The USC rowing team overcame early setbacks and responded with an admirable effort on the final day of the NCAA Championships on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J., Sunday (May 27). The Varsity Eight led the way with a bronze medal win the grand final while the 2nd Varsity Eight and Varsity Four each won their respective races as the team placed sixth overall.
"This was a great final day for us," said USC rowing head coach Zenon Babraj. "I'm very proud of the way our athletes competed and responded in the face of adversity after disappointing start this week. For us to almost match our programs best performance in a transition year speaks volumes about our team. We will be strong contenders moving forward."
After a dominating regular season as one of the country's top Varsity Eight boats, the Women of Troy continued in the same fashion in today's main event. USC sat in the middle of the pack around the midpoint of the race but in the final 500m had a strong sprint to hold off Princeton, California and Washington. The Trojans finished in 6:25.06 behind second place Michigan (6:22.09) and winners Virginia (6:18.72). With the third place finish USC tied its best performance in program history.
The 2nd Varsity Eight boat had a very strong day on the water as well after a rocky start to the NCAA Championships. Racing in the petite final, the Trojans exploded out of the start box and led from beginning to end with a time of 6:42.97. Washington finished second in 6:43.26 followed by Brown, Wisconsin, Stanford and Yale.
USC's Varsity Four boat was looking to come out strong after being relegated to the third final after a disappointing start at Mercer Lake. They didn't disappoint as they rowed a determined race before passing the field in the final 500m to finish first with a time of 7:32.59 ahead of Brown, Michigan State and Stanford.
Of the five Pac-12 schools competing at the championships, USC finished second and as a team narrowly missed matching their school best fifth place finishes of 2007 and 2011.
Full results can be found here.