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UW women’s rowing advances all three boats to the finals looking to defend national title

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UW women’s rowing advances all three boats to the finals looking to defend national title

The Women's N8+ boat rows to a second place finish under the Montlake Bridge during the Windermere Cup Regatta on May 1, 2021. Washington women rowing qualified in every race for the NCAA Championships Saturday. 

After a great first day of the NCAA Women’s Rowing Championship in Sarasota, Florida, Washington women’s rowing followed it up with another great day, sending all three of its boats to the finals that will be taking place Sunday.

Washington’s varsity eight boat needed to finish in the top three to move on to the grand final. 

For the first minute of the most important race of the day, all six of the boats were jockeying for first place. As the boats settled into their placing, Washington was out front leading the pack. However, Washington was not going to get a first place finish without a battle from Pac-12 rival Stanford.

Stanford kept up with Washington and was only about two tenths of a second behind them after 500 meters. Washington was only rowing at a stroke rate of around 34 strokes per minute, while Stanford rowed at a much higher rate, allowing them to make a move and take the lead by the 1,000 meter mark by around one second.

After getting the better of Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship, Stanford flipped the script on Washington and beat them in the semi-final race.

However, Washington will still be moving on to the finals that take place Sunday after finishing in second with a time of 6:10.08.

Washington’s second varsity eight boat got off to a fast start and by the 500 meter mark they possessed about a half a boat length lead on the field. That lead for Washington only got bigger by the 1,000 meter mark and onward.

By the time Washington crossed the finish line at 6:17:00, they had open water between them and the field, winning by a margin of 5.17 seconds and advancing to the finals.

In the second varsity eight race, the real battle was for second and third, where there was less than one second separating all three of the teams battling for a spot in the finals. As they crossed the finish line, Ohio State and Michigan managed to edge out Cal and will be going to the finals alongside Washington.

Wrapping up the day for Washington was the varsity four race.

Washington’s four boat has been the shakiest among their top boats on the year, after having the lone loss in the Pac-12 Championship. Once again, they were not able to get back on track and finished in second.

Washington’s four boat at one point was in third behind both Michigan and Stanford, however, they managed to quickly row their way into second, where they would stay for the majority of the race.

Washington’s final time was 6:53.20, while Stanford finished in first with a commanding time of 6:53.20. Finishing in second, the Huskies will be rowing again tomorrow in the finals.

Overall, Washington managed to finish in the top two spots in all three of their races, meaning that all boats will all be racing again tomorrow morning in the finals starting at 7 a.m. 

Washington will be looking for a repeat of the last rowing championships, where they managed to sweep the field in 2019.

Reach reporter Nathan Mathisen at Twitter: @NathanMathisen

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