May 24, 2012
West Windsor, N.J. - The eighth-ranked UCLA women's rowing team will make their second appearance in three years at the NCAA Championships this weekend from Fri., May 25 to Sun., May 27 at Lake Mercer in West Windsor, N.J. The Bruins will race three crews (V8, 2V8, V4) in the event starting with elimination heats on Friday morning.
Ranked No. 8 nationally in the latest CRCA poll, the Bruins earned an at-large selection to this year's field after finishing third at Pac-12 Championships two weeks ago. It was UCLA's best team finish in head coach Amy Fuller Kearney's 11-year tenure and their best overall finish since 1991. The varsity eight finished fourth, while the second varsity eight and varsity four each earned a third-place finish. The novice eight had the best finish of the day for the Bruins, taking home second place in their race.
UCLA's varsity eight will race in Heat 2 on Friday morning at 9:15 a.m ET against USC, Michigan, Cornell and Michigan State. The second varsity eight will compete in Heat 1 at 9:45 a.m. ET, racing against Wisconsin, California, Brown and USC. The Bruins' varsity four will race at 10:45 a.m. ET in Heat 2, squaring off against Michigan, Washington, Virginia and Stanford. Each of the top three finishers in the preliminary heat on Friday morning advance to a semifinal race on Saturday morning. Those who do not finish in the top three will race in a repechage on Friday afternoon, where the top three finishers in the repechage will fill out the remaining semifinal spots.
Overall, UCLA has had an outstanding year that was highlighted by the team achieving a No. 3 national ranking in the CRCA poll earlier this season, the highest in program history. The Bruins scored dual-meet victories over San Diego, Loyola Marymount and Louisville and won three out of five races over crosstown rivals USC. In addition, UCLA's second varsity eight highlighted a great showing at the San Diego Crew Classic by winning the Jackie Ann Stitt Hungness Trophy in the second varsity eight grand final.
UCLA previously sent its top varsity eight boat as an at-large selection to the NCAA Championships back in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The Bruins also earned their first ever NCAA Championship team selection in 2010 and finished 12th.
UCLA's Rowing Lineups (NCAA Championships)
Varsity 8+: (Stroke) Natalie Pettee, (7) Britta Syverson, (6) Kat Lauer, (5) Mariko Snyder, (4) Erin Wenzel, (3) Nicole Sung-Jereczek, (2) Anastasia Alexander, (1) Kirstin Snook, (Coxswain) Mia Hamano
Second Varsity 8+: (Stroke) Carolina Paini, (7) Alexa Farafontoff, (6) Allison Doran, (5) Hillary Caldwell, (4) Alex Caniglia, (3) Cathy Stolitzka, (2) Jessica McGuire, (1) Deanna Wong, (Coxswain) Ariel Handler