Bears Edged Out for National Team Title by Three-Tenths of a Second

May 28, 2006

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West Windsor, NJ - The 2006 NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championship came down to three-tenths of a second as the Cal Bears spoiled Brown's fifth national championship on Sunday on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, NJ. The Bears needed only to beat the defending champs in the varsity eight grand final to earn the national team title and despite holding a six seat lead going into the final 500 meters, the Cal Bears pushed ahead by a nose in the final few strokes to earn their second national team championship in as many years. Top-ranked Princeton took an open water victory to capture the varsity eight championship while Brown won both the second varsity eight and varsity four titles.

The Bears' varsity four got the racing underway, building a four seat lead over Washington State in the first 750 meters of the race. Brown continued its pace throughout the race, distancing itself from the rest of the field, coming in with a top time of 7:41.1. The Bears have now won a record four national championships in the varsity four event, including three of the last five. Cal placed second with a time of 7:45.4 while Ohio State took third, finishing just five tenths of a second behind. Washington State placed fourth while Washington and Michigan State rounded out the field.

Brown's second eights proved why they were the top-ranked crew in the nation, putting together a spectacular race in the grand final. The clear leader from the start, the Bears went from a half length lead to a full length advantage in the matter of seconds. With the rest of the field tightly packed, battling for the second place position, Brown extended its lead even further, holding a half a length of open water lead with 500 meters to go. Cal edged out Wisconsin for second place while Ohio State took fourth. Washington State and Princeton took fifth and sixth respectively. Brown's winning time of 6:48.8 was its fourth national title, again an NCAA Championship record.

Heading into the headlining varsity eight grand final, Brown was the leader with 36 points to Cal's 33. With three-point increments in the NCAA point system for the varsity eight championship, Brown needed to place ahead of Cal to earn its second national championship in the last three years with the tie breaker being the team which places higher in the first eight event.

While Princeton got off to a strong start and never looked back, Brown, Cal, Washington and Ohio State challenged for second place. The Bears got the edge on Cal and held a firm lock on the second place spot from the first 500 meters all the way through to the final 500 meters. It was Cal's last final push that earned them the 2006 national crown, however, as it edged out Brown 6:43.2600 to 6:43.5210. Washington State came in fourth followed by Ohio State and Michigan State in fifth and sixth respectively.

Brown's second place finish in the team standings extends the school's streak of top three finishes at every NCAA Championship. The Bears have competed in all ten championships, earning titles in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2004. Last year, Brown placed third overall behind Cal and Virginia.

Varsity Four Petite Final (Placed 7-12)
7: Princeton-7:49.3
8: Wisconsin-7:53.4
9: Stanford-7:57.0
10: Yale-7:57.7
11: Notre Dame-8:02.0
12: Tennessee-8:03.4

Varsity Four Grand Final (Places 1-6)
1: Brown-7:41.1
2: California-7:45.4
3: Ohio State-7:45.8
4: Washington State-7:46.1
5: Washingston-7:49.3
6: Michigan State-7:54.0

Second Varsity Eight Grand Final (Places 1-6)
1: Brown-6:48.8
2: California-6:54.4
3: Wisconsin-6:54.7
4: Ohio State-6:56.0
5: Washington State-6:56.2
6: Princeton-7:00.5

Second Varsity Eight Petite Final (Places 7-12)
1: Michigan State-6:57.2
2: Washington-6:58.8
3: Stanford-7:00.4
4: Yale-6:45.3
5: Washington-6:46.0
6: Notre Dame-7:05.0

Second Varsity Eight Grand Final (Places 1-6)
1: Brown-6:48.8
2: Cal-6:54.4
3: Wisconsin-6:54.7
4: Ohio State-6:56.0
5: Washington State-6:56.1
6: Princeton-7:00.5

Varsity Eight Petite Final (Places 7-13)
1: Notre Dame-6:47.5
2: Minnesota-6:48.5
3: Washington-6:49.5
4: Yale-6:49.7
5: USC-6:51.2
6: UCLA-6:56.3
7: Stanford-7:02.4

Varsity Eight Grand Final (Places 1-6)
1: Princeton-6:36.9
2: Cal-6:43.3
3: Brown-6:43.5
4: Washington State-6:48.1
5: Ohio State-6:49.3
6: Michigan State-6:51.2

NCAA Final Team Standings
1: California-66*
2: Brown-66*
3: Princeton-56
4: Washington State-56
5: Ohio State-52
6: Michigan State-40
7: Washington-33
8: Wisconsin-28
9: Notre Dame-22
10: Yale-21
11: Stanford-21
12: Tennessee-11

*Ties in team scoring are broken by finish in Varsity Eight.

Brown Varsity Eight
Seat #1-Gillian Almy, Sr.; Seat #2-Rachel Dearborn, Jr.; Seat #3-Alex Hammer, Jr.; Seat #4-Kelly O'Brien, Fr.; Seat #5-Jessica Stage, Fr.; Seat #6-Emma Olson-So.; Seat #7-Caitlin Flynn, Sr.; Seat #8-Deborah Dryer, Sr.; Coxswain-Mira Mehta, Sr.

Brown Second Varsity Eight
Seat #1-Vanessa Rathbone, So.; Seat #2-Elizabeth Fison, Jr.; Seat #3-Katie Reynolds, Sr.; Seat #4-Corey Finnerty-Ludwig, Fr; Seat #5-Dove West, Jr; Seat #6-Meg Anderson, Sr.; Seat #7-Sarah Bowman, Sr.; Seat #8-Jeannette Saraidaridis, Jr.; Coxswain-Sarah Wu, So.

Brown Varsity Four
Seat #1-Annie Van Beuningen, Fr.; Seat #2-Joanna Jacob, Fr.; Seat #3-Casey Collins, Fr; Seat #4-Carly Traub, Fr.; Coxswain-Christina Caligiuri, Fr.