Brown Women's Crew Post-Season Guide
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – Against a backdrop of pouring rain and grey skies, the Brown women's crew team opened competition in the 2013 NCAA Division I Rowing Championships on Friday morning. Held on Eagle Creek, the first day's heats and repechages featured tight finishes and thrilling wins for the Bears, and, at the end of the session, all three of Brown's crews advanced to the A/B semifinals.
After a slight rain delay, the session kicked off with the Varsity Eight heats. Brown entered the competition as the 15th seed and raced in heat two with Princeton, UCLA, Stanford and Boston University. The Tigers and Bruins pulled ahead early in the race and didn't look back, but the Bears used a strong finish to edge out the Cardinals for third place, finishing in a time of 7:08.172. Princeton and UCLA earned the automatic berths in the A/B semifinals, with Brown, Stanford and Boston University returning in the late morning for the repechages.
The Bears followed that up with a brilliant showing in the Second Varsity Eight, rowing to victory in the morning's fourth heat. Ahead for the first 1000 meters, fourth-seeded Brown was challenged by Washington State in the back half of the race, but the Bears gutted out a win in the final 500 meters, crossing in 7:02.901 to advance directly to the A/B semifinals. The Cougars finished in second, while Stanford, Cornell, Rhode Island and Navy completed the field.
Brown's Varsity Four earned third place in the third heat of its event, struggling to overcome the strength of Virginia and Yale, the top two teams. The Bears, seeded third prior to competition, finished in 8:15.683 to move on to the repechages, and were followed by Harvard, Boston University and Marist.
With the Second Varsity Eight safely qualified for the A/B semifinals, both the Varsity Eight and the Varsity Four came back to the repechages to fight for their spots. The Bears' top crew kicked things off, rowing against Michigan, Washington State, Cornell, Boston University, Rhode Island and Navy in the second repechage. The Wolverines owned the race from start to finish, but the Bears put up quite a fight, battling with the Cougars to earn the final berth with a time of 7:13.132.
Finally, as the rain picked up, the Varsity Four took to the water for the final event of the day, turning in a strong back half to clinch a spot in the A/B semifinals. Princeton claimed first, and Brown was followed by UCLA, Wisconsin, Navy, Rhode Island and Marist.
All of the teams will return to Eagle Creek for the semifinals at 7:00am on Saturday morning, with each squad searching for a spot in the Grand Finals. Two heats of each event will be contested, with the top three boats in each moving on to the Grand Final and the remaining three boats headed to the Petite Final. On Sunday, finals will be contested to determine the 2013 NCAA Division I Rowing National Champion.