Top-ranked Nova Southeastern seeks to defend its title at the 2014 NCAA National Championship in Indianapolis beginning May 30.
NSU was selected to send its full squad to Nationals representing the South Region. The Sharks will compete in both the varsity-8 and varsity-4 events against No. 2 Humboldt State, No. 3 Western Washington, and No. 5 Mercyhurst. No. 4 Barry and No. 8 Central Oklahoma were each selected to send V8 boats to Indianapolis.
The Sharks will look to defend its 2013 NCAA National Championship and become only the second team on campus to win back-to-back national titles. NSU will look to do so against a field of teams the Sharks have had success against in 2014. NSU faced Humboldt State at the recent Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta and defeated them in the varsity-8 race by just under a second. The Sharks are also undefeated against Barry, Mercyhurst and Central Oklahoma. However, NSU has yet to race against Western Washington this season.
In the Sharks' first heat of the V8 event, the Sharks will face off against both Barry and Mercyhurst. In the V4, the Sharks will go head-to-head against Humboldt State. At Dad Vails, the Sharks went 1-1 against Humboldt State's V4 boat.
Quick look at competitors:
Humboldt State enters the national championship on the heels of a great win at the Dad Vail Regatta on May 10.
Humboldt State Varsity Four crew team showed great heart and determination as it went from last to a first place victory by three feet at the Dad Vail Regatta Grand Finals.As part of a live ESPN3 broadcast event, the Lumberjacks Varsity Four caught a crab 400 meters into its race to fall to last of the six-team field. The HSU crew restarted and stroked their way back into the heat of the race with 500 meters left of the 2,000-meter event, before edging Middlebury by three feet and seven-tenths of a second at the finish line.
After a two-and-a half hour weather delay, the top-rated West Region HSU Varsity Eight racing shell came up short by a half second for second place to defending national champion Nova Southeastern in another strong effort.
The Jacks aim for their second national title in three years.
The Vikings will continue their string of competing at every DII national championship since the event began in 2002. It is the second time WWU has been an at-large entry, the other being in 2003, while representing the West Region every other year.
WWU has never placed lower than third at nationals. The Vikings won seven consecutive national titles from 2005 to 2011, a record for all NCAA rowing divisions. Last year, they finished third after being second in 2012.
"We're excited to be going," said WWU head coach John Fuchs (16th year) said. "I believe the team will be ready, as ready as ever, that's for sure."
"I think anybody there can win. Everybody brings it and everybody wants it. We'll definitely be in the mix."
The Vikings' four won and the eight placed second at the 2014 Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta in April. Humboldt State took the eight and was second in the four competition. The WWU four has not lost to a DII school this season.
The Lakers received will be participating in their seventh consecutive NCAA Division II Rowing Championships.
The Lakers won the National Championship back in 2004 and then won the championship in the varsity eight event back in 2010. Mercyhurst has finished fourth at the NCAAs in each of the past two seasons after finishing second in 2011.
"We're pleased that we've been able to rise above the weather conditions that we've faced this spring. We hope to continue to gain speed with the time that we have leading up to NCAA's," head coach Adrian Spracklen said.
In addition, two at-large Eights from institutions not represented in the team competition were selected. The two schools selected were: Barry and Central Oklahoma.
The championships will be held May 30-June 1 at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Indiana, with Notre Dame and the Indiana Sports Corporation serving as hosts.