USC Walks Three Boats Into NCAA Championship Semifinals
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2014 NCAA Women's Rowing Championships
May 30, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS - The 11th-ranked USC women's rowing team completed the first day at the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships in stellar fashion as the Women of Troy put all three boats into A/B semifinals at Eagle Creek Park on Friday, May 30. It took a little extra effort, but the Trojans did what they needed to do to advance each boat to the semis.
The varsity eight finished third in its preliminary heat but claimed first in the repechage to earn a spot in the semifinals. The second varsity eight was fourth in its morning heat but came back strong in the afternoon and secured a spot in the semifinals with a second-place finish in the repechage. The Trojans' varsity four went straight into the semifinals with a second-place finish in its morning heat.
The V8+ will race in the first I Eights A/B semifinal at 8:50 a.m. ET on Saturday (May 31). The 2V8+ races in the second II Eights A/B semifinal at 9:40 a.m. The varsity four will race in the second Fours A/B semifinal at 10:20 a.m. The top three finishers from each semifinal will advance to Sunday's grand finals. The bottom three finishers in each semifinal go to petite finals.
In the I Eights' first heat, Michigan put together a flawless opening piece and held its lead through the first 500 meters, but Ohio State and USC were just seats behind the Wolverines as crews neared the midway point of the course. The Buckeyes closed the gap and walked through the Michigan eight to seize first place and never looked back to win the heat (6:18.259). The Trojans fought through the final 500 meters, but the Wolverines continued to widen the gap and claimed second place with a time of 6:22.099. USC finished at 6:26.174 while San Diego (6:31.690) narrowly edged Louisville (6:31.783) for fourth place.
In its repechage, the USC varsity eight went neck-and-neck with UCLA and Harvard through the first 500. The Bruins grabbed the early lead with a hard charge out of the starting blocks and were in control even at the midway point, but the Trojans put together the race's fastest 500-meter piece at 1:35.631 to walk through UCLA's eight and claim the lead with 500 to go. The Women of Troy held off the Bruins and the Crimson to win the repechage with a time of 6:30.511. Harvard finished second (6:31.193) with UCLA in third (6:32.478), Louisville in fourth (6:42.602), Massachusetts in fifth (6:54.238), and Jacksonville in sixth at 7:02.063.
The varsity eight was coxed by junior Paige Fernandes with senior Vineta Moca in the stroke seat. Kristzina Gyimes sat in the seventh seat followed by Madara Strautmane, Keret Einaste, Madelyn Walters, Elizabeth Turner, Deirdre Fitzpatrick, and Svenja Jonas in the bow seat.
The II Eights fourth heat tested the Trojans' newly-assembled second varsity eight lineup in what turned out to be a two-boat race between Virginia and UCLA. The Cavaliers never trailed throughout the 2000-meter course and finished with a time of 6:32.021 to win a spot in the A/B semifinals. The Bruins were but a second behind Virginia almost the entire way and clocked in at 6:34.768 for second place. Washington State made a big move in the final 500 meters, but couldn't close the gap quite enough to finish in third at 6:37.830. The Trojans held their ground in fourth throughout the race and finished fourth at 6:42.301, ahead of fifth-place Massachusetts (7:06.639) and Boston University (7:13.392).
In the II Eights repechage, the Trojans burst out of the gates to grab an early lead on a time of 1:39.239 through the first 500 meters. Louisville followed suit with a big opening piece, but had tapered off by the midway point of the race. Harvard made its move in the second segment and climbed into a head-to-head battle with USC. Down the stretch, the Crimson maintained speed and held off the Trojans to finish with a first-place time of 6:42.265. USC dug deep and found a way to hold off a Wisconsin push with 500 to go, and finished second at 6:44.745 to earn a berth in the A/B semifinals. The Badgers narrowly finished third at 6:45.776, ahead of Louisville (6:49.998), Massachusetts (7:16.530), and sixth-place Jacksonville (7:34.044).
USC's second varsity eight was coxed by junior Kellyn Freire with junior captain Katherine Gleadow at the stroke. Gleadow was followed by Sara Bilimoria, Eglit Vosu, Jelena Miladinovic, Kamali Houston, Gitta Kivilaan, Frederike Hackenbroch, and Shelby Adair in the bow.
In the Fours' first heat, the Trojans quickly turned a five-boat race into a two-boat affair with Brown. USC sat just two seats off the Bears through the first 500 meters, but the two had clearly began to separate from Michigan, Princeton, and San Diego's boats. Halfway through, the Trojans and Bears widened the gap some more, but USC maintained contact with the Brown crew. With 750 meters to go, the Women of Troy made their move and pulled even with the Bears, but Brown continued to pour on the speed. USC had another push in it as it claimed the lead down the final 250 meters of the course, but again, the Bears responded. With just 50 to go, the two bow balls jockeyed for position until Brown crossed the line with a time of 7:14.103 to claim first place. USC was just three tenths of a second behind and finished second at 7:14.436. Michigan sealed up third place with a time of 7:23.110 and left Princeton and USD to battle it out for fourth place. The Tigers came out on top (7:30.447) to overcome the Toreros (7:32.305).
In its first incarnation, the varsity four lineup had sophomore captain Lindsay Gibson at the stroke with Darian DiCianno in the bow. Seniors Kajsa Olsson and Rebecca Shaffer sat in the second and third seats respectively. The USC V4 was coxed by freshman Kaelyn Ibold.
Fans can follow @GameDayIndy on Twitter for up-to-date results, and @IndSportsCorp for overall event updates including weather and course information. For all of the latest news, results and a webcast of all races at the NCAA Championships, visit NCAA.com. For more information on USC women's rowing, please visit USCTrojans.com.
2014 NCAA WOMEN'S ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS
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