May 22, 2007
Big Ten Champion Minnesota and Ohio State are set to compete at the 2007 NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships this week. The event will be held May 25-27 at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville will serve as host.
For Minnesota, this year marks the first time the Golden Gophers will participate as a team at the championships, competing with all three boats -- First Varsity Eight, Second Varsity Eight and the Varsity Four. Minnesota's rowing program has excelled every year since the start of the program in 2000-01. Under head coach Wendy Davis, the Gophers won the 2007 Big Ten Championship in April in Madison, Wis. Following their conference championship, Davis was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the second straight season, while Jennifer Barnes was named the Big Ten Athlete of the Year. A year ago at the 2006 NCAA Championships, the Gophers were one of four teams selected with an at-large bid, racing their First Varsity Eight.
Ohio State will make its eighth-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championships and its ninth overall with the first Buckeyes' Varsity Four boat first competing in 1997. Ohio State recently won its fifth Central Region championship in as many years, clinching the title at the Aramark Central/South Region Sprints. The Buckeyes have had success at the site of the 2007 NCAA Championships, winning all five Central Region crowns on Melton Hill Lake. Last year, Ohio State made program history by advancing to the Grand Finals of all three races while the first Varsity Four took third in its race for the highest an OSU boat has ever placed in the national championships. The Buckeyes finished fifth in the team standings.
The team championships are comprised of 12 teams and each team is required to field two boats of eight rowers and one boat of four rowers. In addition, four eight-women boats from institutions not represented in the team competition were selected.
The selection of teams and individual boats was based on eligibility and availability of student-athletes; regional championship results; regional rankings; late-season performance; head-to-head results; results against teams/boats already selected; results against common opponents; and results against regionally-ranked teams/boats. One team from each region was selected and the remaining seven teams were chosen at-large.
The following teams were selected to complete at this year's NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships:
Brown, California, Harvard, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Princeton, Southern California, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, Yale
Dartmouth, Stanford, UCF, UCLA