GOLD RIVER, Calif. -- Three of the nation’s top-five Division I teams advanced all three boats to Saturday’s semifinals after the first day of racing at the 2015 NCAA Rowing Championships on Friday at Lake Natoma.
No. 2 California, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 5 Washington each advanced directly to the semifinals in all three races to lead the field Friday. California posted the fasted time in the Varsity 8 boat, winning its heat in a time of six minutes, 23.735 seconds, outpacing Heat 2 winner Ohio State (6:25.261) and Heat 3 winner Virginia (6:25.825). Washington captured Heat 4 in the closest race of the day, coming across the line in 6:26.26, narrowly ahead of Texas (6:26.043) and Brown (6:26.690).
Also advancing to the semifinals in the Varsity Eight races were Princeton, Michigan, Stanford and Texas. Following the afternoon’s races, Washington State, Harvard, Brown and Indiana also advanced to the semifinals, with Washington State and Brown winning their repechage heats.
In the Second Varsity Eight races, Heat 3 proved to be the fastest as Brown (6:30.271) came across the line more than two seconds ahead of Ohio State. Other heat winners included Washington, Washington State and California, while Stanford, Texas and Yale also advanced directly into Saturday’s semifinal by finishing in the top two of the morning heats. In the afternoon repechage, Wisconsin and Virginia captured victories, with Indiana and Michigan also advancing to the semifinals.
In the Varsity Four heats, Virginia and Yale battled in the fastest heat of the morning, with Virginia (7:15.394) winning by just over two seconds. Brown (7:21.195), Princeton (7:22.523) and Ohio State (7:22.704) also captured heat victories while Washington, California, Yale and Washington State also moved directly into Saturday’s semifinals. Princeton’s win was the biggest upset of the morning as it entered the race No. 3 in its heat. Also moving into the semifinals were Michigan and Stanford with repechage victories, while Texas and Notre Dame also advanced.
In Division II action, Mercyhurst and Barry each captured heat victories in the Varsity 8 and Varsity Four races and both move into Sunday’s Grand Final. In the V8 race, Barry posted the fastest time of the morning, crossing the line in 6:55.295, more than 20 seconds heads of Central Oklahoma in Heat 1. Mercyhurst (6:58.272) held off Humboldt State by more than three seconds in its race.
In the Varsity Four heats, the same pattern held as Barry crossed in front of Central Oklahoma while Mercyhurst out-stroked Humboldt State.
The Division III races came down to the wire as in the first Varity Eight heat, Bates came away with a three-second victory against Hamilton while Trinity (Conn.) jumped out to a three-second lead through the first 500 meters and held on for a win against Williams. In the Second Varsity Eight races, Bates, trailing at the 1500-meter mark, needed a strong final 500 meters for a narrow win, coming in three-tenths of a second ahead of second-place Wellesley.