Women's Rowing Wins Patriot League Title; Earns NCAA Championship Bid
Navy won two of three races to claim the Patriot League title.
May 17, 2013
WORCESTER, Mass. - The Navy women's rowing team won the varsity and second varsity races en route to claiming the Patriot League championship on Friday morning in Worcester, Mass. The conference title is the Mids' first since 2005, breaking a string of seven consecutive second-place finishes. By winning the Patriot League title, Navy has received an automatic berth in the NCAA Division I Rowing Championship, to be held May 31-June 2 in Indianapolis, Ind.
"The kids did a great job today, they were under a lot of pressure and I'm so proud of how they responded," said Navy head coach Mike Hughes. "It was a great race and it feels good to be back on top."
Navy topped the six-team field with 35 points, while Bucknell finished second with 29 and Holy Cross third with 23.
After Bucknell won the varsity four race to begin the day, Navy countered with a win in the second varsity eight, meaning the championship would be decided by the winner of the varsity eight competition.
Navy and Bucknell started off even through the first 500 meters of the varsity eight race, but by the midway point, Navy held a six-seat lead on the Bison. As the race moved into the final 1000 meters, Navy held its lead and won by over four seconds with a time of 6:29.3. Bucknell turned in a 6:33.9 and MIT a 6:36.9 to complete the top three.
As a result of winning the race, the Mids' varsity eight crew was named the Patriot League Boat of the Year. Hughes was also named Coach of the Year for the third time (2005, '08).
For the second straight year, Navy's second varsity eight took first place at the event. The Mids led the entire way, holding off both Holy Cross and Bucknell. Through 1500 meters, Navy led the Crusaders by two seats and Bucknell by over a boat length. The Mids pushed their lead even further in the final 500 meters, winning with a time of 6:41. Holy Cross took second with a 6:50.
In the first race of the morning on Lake Quinsigamond, Bucknell's varsity four crew defeated the Mids. The Bison led Navy at the midway point and never again trailed, posting a winning time of 7:22.9. Navy clocked a 7:30.7 and Holy Cross took third with a 7:35.5.
The 2013 NCAA Division I Rowing Championship will take place at Eagle Creek Park.
"With it being the first time the league champion gets an automatic NCAA bid, there was more pressure than ever before here today," said Hughes. "It's quite an honor for us to win. We want to represent the Patriot League at the NCAAs to the best of our ability."
Navy - 6:29.3
Bucknell - 6:33.9
MIT - 6:36.9
Holy Cross - 6:38.2
Colgate - 6:44.7
Lehigh - 6:54.9
Navy - 6:41.5
Holy Cross - 6:50.6
Bucknell - 6:53.2
MIT - 6:57.9
Lehigh - 7:04.2
Bucknell - 7:22.9
Navy - 7:30.7
Holy Cross - 7:35.5
Colgate - 7:43.0
MIT - 7:48.8
Lehigh - 8:10.0
1. Navy - 35
2. Bucknell - 29
3. Holy Cross - 23
4. MIT - 20
5. Colgate - 9
6. Lehigh - 8