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NCAA Rowing Championship

The NCAA Rowing Championship is a rowing championship held by the NCAA for Division I, II and III women's heavyweight (or openweight) collegiate crews. It was first held in 1997. In 2002, the NCAA added championships for Division II and Division III. All races are 2,000 meters long. Men's rowing (both heavyweight and lightweight) and women's lightweight rowing are not part of the NCAA and have separate championships.

Division I

The NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships have 312 competitors (344 including spares) and three events (I Eights, II Eights, Fours). Twelve teams are selected, each of which is required to field a team of two eights and one four. In addition, four at-large I Eights are selected. Teams are awarded points by their final placing in each event. The NCAA Champion is determined by the team which accumulates the most points. When teams are tied for points after the three events, the NCAA champion is determined by the team with the higher placing in the I Eight event. The at-large I Eights do not accrue points and do not compete for the championship.

Participants in the championships are selected by the NCAA Division I Women’s Rowing Committee. One team from each region is selected. The following criteria are used in selecting teams and individual boats:

  • Regional championship results.
  • Regional ranking.
  • Late season performance.
  • Head-to-head results.
  • Results versus team already selected.
  • Results versus common opponents.
  • Results versus regionally ranked team.

NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Champion
Year School Head Coach
2008 Brown John Murphy
2007 Brown John Murphy
2006 California Dave O'Neill
2005 California Dave O'Neill
2004 Brown John Murphy
2003 Radcliffe Liz O'Leary
2002 Brown John Murphy
2001 Washington Jan Harville
2000 Brown John Murphy
1999 Brown John Murphy
1998 Washington Jan Harville
1997 Washington Jan Harville

Year School Winner of I Eight event
2007 Yale Rachel Jeffers, Tess Gerrand, Christine Geiser, Jamie Redman, Taylor Ritzel, Amanda Rich, Alice Henly, Christine Glandorf, Emily Cleveland (cox), Head Coach: Will Porter
2006 Princeton Caroline Lind, Kristin Haraldsdottir, Jackie Zider, Devan Darby, Andreanne Morin, Carrie Kruse, Gevvie Stone, Kate Bertko, Elizabeth Agnew (cox), Head Coach: Lori Dauphiny
2005 California Erin Cafaro, Mara Allen, Erin Reinhardt, Iva Obradovic, Kim Atkinson, Laura Terheyden, Kaylan Vander Schilden, Jelena Djukic, Remy Hitomi (cox), Head Coach: Dave O'Neill
2004 Brown Deborah Dryer, Meg Anderson, Catherine Starr, Karen Prazar, Rachel Dearborn, Natalia Obolensky, Marie Walcott, Gillian Almy, Mira Mehta (cox), Head Coach: John Murphy
2003 Radcliffe Sarah Marvel, Courtney Brown, Caryn Davies, Anna Brock, Lis Lambert, Heather Schofield, Caroline Fisher, Tasha Pasternack, Julie Gluck (cox), Head Coach: Liz O'Leary
2002 Washington Lauren Estevenin, Annabel Ritchie, Anna Mickelson, Heidi Hurn, Adrienne Hunter, Carrie Stasiak, Kara Nykreim, Yvonneke Stenken, Mary Whipple (cox), Head Coach: Jan Harville
2001 Washington Annabel Ritchie, Nicole Rogers, Carrie Stasiak, Adrienne Hunter, Rika Geyser, Anna Mickelson, Nicole Borges, Lauren Estevenin, Mary Whipple (cox), Head Coach: Jan Harville
2000 Brown Portia Johnson, Rachel Anderson, Anda Adams, Kellie Walker, Jessica Lanning, Liane Malcos, Erin Kelley, Caroline Grogan, Kate Saul (cox), Head Coach: John Murphy
1999 Brown Caroline Grogan, Erin Kelley, Amy Meyers, Nina Carter, Kellie Walker, Anda Adams, Rachel Anderson, Portia Johnson, Kate Saul (cox), Head Coach: John Murphy
1998 Washington Sabina Telenska, Denni Nessler, Kelly Horton, Katy Dunnet, Annie Christie, Rachel Dunnet, Vanessa Tavalero, Kari Green, Missy Collins (cox), Head Coach: Jan Harville
1997 Washington Sabina Telenska, Denni Nessler, Kelly Horton, Katy Dunnet, Annie Christie, Jan Williamson, Tristine Glick, Kari Green, Alida Purves (cox), Head Coach: Jan Harville

Division II

The NCAA Division II Women's Rowing Championships comprise 68 total competitors (86 including spares) and two events, varsity eights and fours. Four teams are selected, each of which is required to field an eight and a four. Two additional at-large schools are selected to field only an eight. The following criteria are used in selecting teams and individual boats:

  • Regional ranking; regional championship results.
  • Results against regionally ranked teams; results against teams already selected; results against common opponents.
  • Head-to-head competition; late-season performance.
  • Eligibility and availability of student-athletes.

Division II Women's Varsity
Year School Crew
2006 Western Washington 8+ Staci Reynolds, Julia Gamache, Jordon Tobler, Lindsay Mann-King, Rebecca Willms, Metta Gilbert, Samantha Marikis, Amelia Whitcomb, Elisabeth Johnson (cox), Head Coach: John Fuchs
2006 Western Washington 4+ Hilary Gastwirth, Katie Saelens, Katrina Anderson, Kirsten Mathers, Coree Naslund (cox) Head Coach: John Fuchs
2005 Western Washington 8+ Julia Gamache, Staci Reynolds, Lindsay Mann-King, Kailyn McGrath, Metta Gilbert, Gail Lumsden, Amelia Whitcomb, Stephanie Parker, Krissy Whaley (cox)
2005 Western Washington 4+ Courtney Moeller, Samantha Marikis, Tayna Kaufman, Jordan Tobler, Elisabeth Johnson (cox) Head Coach: John Fuchs
2004 Mercyhurst Kerri Kanaley, Courtney Oke, Chelsea Boothe, Meg Bryant, Megan Holloway, Kristin Best, Kristen Ficorilli, Jill Natale, Naomi Petendra (Cox)
2003 UC Davis Kari Harris, Ashley Montross, Becky Anderson, Kalie Benson, Brooke Forniciari, Shelley Best (Michelle Best), Kerry Bryne, Cassie Drotman, Katie Borg (cox)
2002 UC Davis Analise Zoller, Brooke Forniciari, Julie Madsen, Kerry Bryne, Brooke Roberts, Sara Deleon, Shelley Best (Michelle Best), Sabrina Litton, Sarah Whipple (cox)

Division III

The NCAA Division III Women's Rowing Championships comprise 126 total competitors (148 including spares) and one event, varsity and second varsity eights together. Each race is 2,000 meters long. Six teams are selected, each of which is required to field two eights. In addition, as of 2005 two "at-large" boats are selected to enable representation by teams that have a single fast crew but not the depth for two competitive boats. The following criteria are used in selecting teams and individual boats:

  • Eligibility and availability of student-athletes.
  • Winning percentage, head-to-head results, results against common opponents.
  • Strength of schedule as demonstrated by results against regionally ranked teams.
  • Results against teams already in the championship.

If an analysis of the primary criteria by the committee does not result in a decision, the remainder of the institutions schedule, including out-of-region play and competition against Division I and II institutions, and nonmember institutions, and late season results will also be considered.

There are three rounds of racing over two days. First, there are two heats of seven boats. The first- and second-seeded crews are assured of being in separate heats, but the other boats are assigned randomly. The winner of each heat advances automatically to the grand final the next day, places 2-4 advance to the grand final qualifier, and places 5-7 go to the petite final qualifier. Both qualifiers are run later that day. From the grand final qualifier, the top four boats advance to the grand final (joining the two winners of the heats), and places 5 and 6 advance to the petite final. From the petite final qualifier, the top four boats advance to the petite final, and the other two are excluded from further racing. The grand-final decides places 1-6 for the championship (including the gold, silver, and bronze crews), and the petite final decides places 7-12; places 13 and 14 are the sixth- and seventh-place boats respectively from the petite final qualifier.

The individual boat champion is the winner of the grand final. The team champion is the one that records the lowest combined score for both boats. Each boat earns 1-12 points, reflecting how it finished relative to the field (ignoring the at-large boats). Ties in total points are broken by consideration of which team had the faster first varsity eight.

Division III Women's 8+ Grand Final Champion
Year School Crew
2007 Williams Katherine Robinson, Katie Quayle, Carolyn Skudder, Louisa Berky, Kate Sortun, Julia Haltermann, Abby Weir, Emily Cheston, Allison Prevatt (cox), Head Coach: Pat Tynan
2006 Ithaca Sarah Kuebler, Emma Flemer, Kaitlin Veninsky, Stephanie Knabe, Kelsey Schaeffer, Stacey Bowen, Jane Semiz, Heather Luke, Melanie Pessin (cox), Head Coach: Becky Robinson
2005 Trinity Tara Maciog, Hadley Wilmerding, Elizabeth Guernsey, Sarah Carter, Katie Gordon, Lauren Massimino, Ali Schmidt, Carmel Zahran, Emily McLean (cox), Head Coach: Marina Traub
2004 Ithaca Jill Moler, Nora Lahr, Jessie Selock, Megan Musnicki, Stephanie Knabe, Stacey Bowen, Heather Luke, Leslie Nichols, Catie Gloo (cox), Head Coach: Becky Robinson
2003 Colby Leah Hagamen, Emily Allen, Laura Mistretta, Annie Szender, Leah Robertson, Andrea Piekarski, Megan Loosigian, Ellie Boyce, Vivienne Ho (cox), Head Coach: Stew Stokes
2002 Williams Anne Rutherford, Anne Lewis, Liz Mygatt, Rachel DeSouza, Laura Spero, Shoshana Clark, Izzy Lowell, Emma Harries, Rachel Outman (cox), Head Coach: Justin Moore

  • In 2005, Ithaca and Smith College tied in total points for the team title, which was awarded to Ithaca based on a better overall finish in the Varsity 8+ race. In 2006, Williams College won the team title by placing second and third in the grand final. In all other years, the winner of the Varsity 8+ race also won the NCAA Division III team title.

Prior Championships

The first women’s collegiate championship was held in 1980 at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. National champions were declared from the varsity eight race. California won the first collegiate championship. Below is a list of Women’s National Collegiate varsity eight champions:

  • 1996 – Brown
  • 1995 – Princeton
  • 1994 – Princeton
  • 1993 – Princeton
  • 1992 – Boston University
  • 1991 – Boston University
  • 1990 – Princeton
  • 1989 – Cornell
  • 1988 – Washington
  • 1987 – Washington
  • 1986 – Wisconsin
  • 1985 – Washington
  • 1984 – Washington
  • 1983 – Washington
  • 1982 – Washington
  • 1981 – Washington
  • 1980 – California

(Source: Washington Crew Press Guide)

Prior to 1980, college boats entered the National Women’s Rowing Association National Championships (what is now the USRowing National Championships). Below is a list of NWRA open eights champions from 1971-1979 (no eights prior to 1971). The top college finisher is in parentheses:

  • 1979 – Burnaby BC (top college Yale)
  • 1978 – Burnaby BC (top college Wisconsin)
  • 1977 – Vesper (top college Wisconsin)
  • 1976 – College BC (top college Wisconsin)
  • 1975 – University of Wisconsin
  • 1974 – Vesper (top college Radcliffe)
  • 1973 – Radcliffe College
  • 1972 – College BC (top college Washington)
  • 1971 – Vesper (top college Washington)

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