Open Women Suffer Heartbreaker In NCAA V8 Semi; 2V Reaches Grand Final
It was a semifinal that will be remembered for a long time by everybody at Eagle Creek Park. It was also a semifinal that the Princeton varsity eight will try to hard to forget by Sunday morning, though that could be a nearly impossible task.
The second of two V8 semifinals during Saturday's second day of the NCAA Championships featured a captivating four-team sprint to the finish line. Three boats, regardless of their actual finish, would leave the course thrilled. The fourth would be devastated; unfortunately, that boat belonged to Princeton.
The two-time defending Ivy League champion Princeton V8 finished less than half a second short of actually winning its semifinal heat, but it placed fourth in the final sprint and did not qualify for the NCAA Championship. Stanford (6:30.06) topped Brown (6:30.11) for the win, while Michigan (6:30.31) slipped past Princeton (6:30.54) for the final spot in the championship event.
Princeton will now face at 10:40 Sunday in the petite final; the Tigers will be in Lane 3, joined by Indiana (1), USC (2), Virginia (4), Notre Dame (5) and Harvard (6). A victory in the final would avenge a loss to the Cavaliers at the beginning of April.
The Princeton 2V, which went undefeated during the regular season and claimed bronze at the Ivy Championships, did advance to Sunday's grand final with a second-place finish in its heat. The Tigers took care of business in the first 1,000 meters, holding a slim lead over Ohio State for the top spot and about a three-second edge over UCLA for a top-three spot.
From there, it was all about settling into a groove and keeping at least three boats behind it. Ohio State took the semifinal in 6:34.97, but Princeton took a comfortable second in 6:38.58. Brown (6:40.32) edged UCLA (6:42.39) for the final spot in the grand final.
Princeton will race in Lane 2 during the 10:30 grand final; joining the Tigers will be Brown (1), Virginia (3), Ohio State (4), Stanford (5) and California (6).
The varsity four had the toughest road of all, as it needed a repechage just to reach the semifinals. It didn't factor into the top three chase by the 1,000-meter mark, and it will now focus its attention to the 10 am petite final. Princeton will be in Lane 6, joined by Indiana (1), Notre Dame (2), Michigan (3), Ohio State (4) and Wisconsin (5).VARSITY EIGHT SEMIFINAL
Notre Dame 6:42.13
SECOND VARSITY EIGHT SEMIFINAL
Ohio State 6:34.99
Washington State 6:48.32
VARSITY FOUR SEMIFINAL
Ohio State 7:39.21
Notre Dame 7:50.26