Indianapolis, IN --- The WPI women's rowing team has been selected to participate in the NCAA Division III Championships for the first time in program history. This year's championships will be held May 25-27 at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, FL, and will be hosted by the University of Central Florida.
The third-ranked Engineers join the likes of No. 1 Bates, No. 2 Ithaca, No. 8 Pacific Lutheran, No. 13 Washington College, No. 5 Wellesley, No. 4 Wesleyan and No. t6 Williams who collectively account for 14 national championships and 54 appearances (chart below).
The varsity eight has been a mainstay in the CRCA/USRowing Division III Coaches Poll the past three seasons, including the top ten during the past two springs. This past weekend, the Engineers lived up to their ranking by finishing third to Bates and Ithaca at the National Invitation Rowing Championships. They also defeated Wesleyan twice, as well as Williams in the final and No. 10 William Smith in the morning heat. At the New England Rowing Championships, WPI again defeated the Cardinals twice while also topping Wellesley, Williams and No. 9 Tufts in the grand final.
In the regular season, the Crimson and Gray bested Tufts to reclaim the Bernard Brown Cup, William Smith three more times, No. 14 Smith twice, including once in the NEWMAC Championship, and No. 15 Colby twice. WPI also met Bates, Ithaca, Wesleyan, No. t6 Hamilton and Williams once and was swept by Pacific Lutheran in three races early in the campaign. Another meeting with Bates and Wellesley, along with No. 11 RIT and Trinity, was called off due to weather.
The second varsity eight defeated Ithaca this past weekend in the NIRC petite final. The group also split with Pacific Lutheran at the beginning of April and, like the V8, have faced six of the seven teams as Washington College did not make a trip to Lake Quinsigamond this season.
With WPI and Wellesley earning a bid, it is the third time two teams from the NEWMAC have been invited as Coast Guard and Wellesley went in 2003 and Coast Guard and Smith went in 2004.
The program has been led by Jason Steele since being elevated to varsity status for the 1999-2000 season. The coaching staff also currently boasts Pat Guida (WPI '83), Martha Strom, Paul Berube and Elizabeth Crowley.
Look for more information about the student-athletes as the championship gets closer.
|Friday, May 25||Saturday, May 26|
If necessary 3:48pm
|2V8 H1 (Lane 2)
V8 H1 (Lane 4)
|2V8 Petite Final
2V8 Grand Final
V8 Petite Final
V8 Grand Final
|Team (Years Participated)||Years||1st||2nd||3rd||Best Finish (Year[s])|
|Bates (2007-08-09-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17)||11||2||6||2||1st (2015-17)|
|Ithaca (2002-03-04-05-06-07-08-09-10-11-17)||11||2||1||1||1st (2004-05)|
|Pacific Lutheran (2002-16)||2||0||0||0||4th (2016)|
|Washington Col. (2013-14-15-16-17)||5||0||0||0||5th (2016)|
|Wellesley (2003-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17)||9||1||0||4||1st (2016)|
|Wesleyan (2014)||1||0||0||0||5th (2014)|
|Williams (2002-04-05-06-07-08-09-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17)||15||9||2||2||1st (2002-06-07-08-09-10-11-12-13)|