CREW: Huskies end season with 10th place finish as nationals

The Washington women's crew team ended its season this weekend with a 10th-place finish at the NCAA championship, as Brown University took the team title for the fifth time in the history of the event.

Of the four Husky crews competing in this weekend's races, two advanced to Sunday's Grand Finals by posting top times in the repechage races Saturday. After the initial heats, the repechage races are those in which crews that finished at the top of their heats compete for a place in the finals.

In the junior varsity eight repechage, the Husky women edged Minnesota by three-tenths of a second to finish first and earn a spot in the Grand Final, where they finished sixth with a time of 7:11.29. Minnesota posted a winning time of 6:56.29 in the race.

The other Husky boat to earn a place in the Grand Finals was the varsity four crew, which was composed entirely of freshmen. Led by coxswain Maggie Cheek, the varsity four finished fifth with a time of 7:53.75, more than 15 seconds off Virginia's winning time of 7:35.03.

The Husky varsity eight boat failed to make it to the finals after finishing fifth in their heat and fourth in their repechage race. Competing in the third level of final, known as the C Final, for 13th-16th place, the UW finished behind California and UCLA to take 15th with a time of 6:52.94.

The final team standings after the NCAA races demonstrate the strength of West Coast schools in the sport, with three teams from the Pac-10 conference finishing in the top 10. USC, the No. 1-ranked team in the nation coming into this weekend's championship, was the top Pac-10 finisher, taking fifth in the competition. In addition to the UW's 10th-place finish, California also placed in the top 10, finishing seventh.

The success of the all-freshman varsity four crew and the other young rowers filling the UW's shells is promising for the Huskies' chances next season, as they will be returning with more experience and even hungrier for victory.

Reach reporter Risa Pavia at sports@thedaily.washington.edu.

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