No. 6 Virginia wins fourth consecutive ACC title, earns NCAA tourney berth
CLEMSON, S.C. -- No. 6 Virginia swept all four races en route to its fourth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference Rowing Championship on Sunday morning at Lake Hartwell. It was the 13th conference crown in 14 years for the Cavaliers, who have automatically qualified for the NCAA championships.
UVa head coach Kevin Sauer was named ACC Coach of the Year for the ninth time and fourth year in a row. Virginia’s top boat, the Varsity 8, was named ACC Crew of the Year, the 11th Cavalier crew to earn the honor. The V8 consisted of coxswain Sarah Jordan, Constanze Duell, Chandler Lally, Kristine O’Brien, Sarah Cowburn, Fiona Schlesinger, Susanne Grainger, Elle Murray and Lizzy Youngling.
Cowburn, Grainger, Jordan, O’Brien and Schlesinger were all named to the All-ACC squad. O’Brien was honored for the third consecutive year, while Cowburn was recognized for the second season in a row.
“It was a great day for UVa rowing,” Sauer said. “We are very happy that we earned the automatic qualifying spot to the NCAA championships from the ACC. Many thanks to Robbie Tenenbaum, Melanie Onufrieff and all the Clemson staff that did such a great job hosting the championship.”
By way of winning the four races, the Cavaliers finished with 60 points. Clemson was second with 43 points, followed by Duke (41), Miami (Fla.) (27), Boston College (23) and North Carolina (16).
Facing a strong crosswind, the UVa Varsity 8 claimed first in a time of 6:46.08, well ahead of Duke, which was second in 6:54.35. Clemson, Miami, BC and UNC rounded out the top six.
In the Second Varsity 8, Clemson was within a few seats through the first 500 meters, but Virginia made a strong move and went on to win in open water in 7:05.17. The Tigers were second in 7:11.98, followed by Miami, Duke, BC and UNC.
The UVa Novice 8 won in a time of 7:18.61, ahead of UNC (7:30.24), Clemson (7:33.01), BC, Duke and Miami.
In the first race of the morning, the Cavaliers’ Varsity 4 opened up a lead of a boat length by the 500-meter mark and never looked back, crossing the line first in a time of 7:27.16.
The Cavaliers have now won 50 of the 56 races at the ACC championships, which the conference started in 2000.