May 15, 2005
May 15, 2005-- The No. 18 UCLA Women's Rowing Team had a strong performance at the 19th-Annual Pac-10 Championships, held at Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, CA, ending the day's competition fourth overall. After finishing in the top three in all their preliminary heats, UCLA advanced all four of their boats to the Grand Finals for the second consecutive year. The team's final standing in fourth place was the highest finish the Bruins have earned at the Pac-10 Championships as a NCAA sport at UCLA. The varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four also earned their best finishes in the school's NCAA history.
The varsity eight competed in their Grand Final, in which they placed fifth with a time of 6:32.4. California, the defending champion, won the race with a time of 6:20.6. UCLA reached the Grand Final by placing third in their preliminary heat with a time of 6:42.44, advancing along with USC and California.
The second varsity had a dominating performance, finishing second in their Grand Final. The Bruin's time of 6:37.1 was a close finish to California's winning time of 6:34.5. UCLA advanced to the Grand Final after finishing first in their preliminary heat, with a time of 6:46.28. The Bruins advanced along with Washington and Washington State.
"All of the crews had solid performances, but I am especially proud of the courage the second varsity showed on Sunday," says Head Coach Amy Fuller Kearney. "They were able to learn from their past experiences this season. They didn't want to have another San Diego Crew Classic, where they had a great heat and a dissappointing final. They went for it in the Pac-10 final, took a big risk in the first 1000 and it paid off. It takes guts to race like that and the second place finish was definitely the biggest improvement from last year."
The varsity four finished fourth in the Grand Final with a time of 7:22.3. Rivals USC claimed the victory in this event, finishing with a time of 7:12.9. The varsity four placed second in their preliminary heat with a time of 7:34.40, advancing to the Grand Final along with Washington State (7:30.78) and Oregon State (7:43.40).
The novice eight, composed of a crew that has been racing together for less than a month, finished fifth in the Pac-10, coming in with a time of 6:57.7 in their Grand Final. Washington captured the event with a time of 6:38.0. The Bruins advanced to the Grand Final after finishing third in their preliminary heat with a time of 7:07.99. California won that heat with a time of 7:01.40.
At the end of the competition, the Bruins had accumulated 49 points, placing them fourth in the team standings. Defending champions California regained their title, completing the day with 67 points. The final team results were: California, Washington ( 56 points), USC (53 points), UCLA, Stanford (43 points), Washington State (38 points), Oregon State (33 points), and Oregon (4 points). California and Washington remain the only two schools who have won the team title.
"The coaching staff is very proud of what the team has accomplished this season. We are steadily moving up in the Pac-10 and National rankings each year," says Fuller Kearney. "It is amazing that with seven walk-ons (athletes who were not recruited and learned to row at UCLA) in the varsity eight and four walk-ons in the second varsity eight we were able to achieve this level at the Pac-10 Championships. Recruiting from the student body will always be a large part of the program at UCLA, and it will be exciting to see where we go as scholarship dollars increase and more top junior rowers commit to the Bruin team."