MEDFORD - Capping their most successful season in recent years, the Tufts University Women's Crew varsity eight will row at the 2015 NCAA Division III Championships on Friday and Saturday (May 29-30).
The NCAA Division III Women’s Rowing Championships will be held at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, California with the Pac-12 Conference serving as host.
Tufts and Puget Sound were at-large eights selected to compete. Only the varsity boat will race for the Jumbos. Six other crews (Washington College, Bates, Wellesley, Hamilton, Trinity, Williams) earned team berths and will field two boats of eight rowers and a coxswain.
The varsity eight heats are scheduled for Friday at 8:50 and 9:00 am PT (11:50/12 noon ET). Tufts will be in lane three of Friday's second heat at 9 am PT against Williams, Trinity and Puget Sound.
The top two finishers in each heat (four boats) advance to the grand final. The third- and fourth-place finishers in the heats will race in the repechage, where the top two finishers advance to the grand final, while the third- and fourth- place boats compete in the petite final.
The D3 repechage will be held on Friday at 3:40 PT (6:40 pm ET). The two-team petite final is scheduled for 11:14 am (2:14 pm ET) on Saturday prior to the six-team grand final at 11:26 am (2:26 pm ET).
The Jumbos were edged for a team berth by Hamilton. Therefore, the Jumbos will compete for the varsity eight national title though not for the overall team title. Tufts will race at NCAA's for the third time in program history, including 2005 and 2006.
The expected boating for the Jumbos will have coxswain Cory Jacoby, stroke Emma Conroy, 7-seat Rachel Siegler, 6-seat Emma Peabody, 5-seat Laura Washburn, 4-seat Leah Fortson, 3-seat Emily Eickhoff, 2-seat Claire Sleigh and bow Rachel Paterson. The spares will Kellie King, Taylor Maykranz and Brett Mele.
The Jumbos will be led by varsity Coach Brian Dawe. Men's coach Noel Wanner will travel as the assistant coach. Gary Caldwell is the Director of Rowing at Tufts.
Tufts is one of five teams from NESCAC who will compete at NCAA's including conference automatic qualifier Bates, Hamilton, Trinity (CT) and Williams. In 2014, Trinity captured its first NCAA Division III Women's Rowing Championships team title at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis.
The Jumbos got started on its successful season by rowing to a dead head against the defending national champion Bantams on April 4 with 7:06.06 times. The following week, the Jumbos defeated Wesleyan in a heat with time of 6:59.1 though they lost to Wellesley in the final that day. Wins over Amherst (6:45.2) and Middlebury (6:39.7) followed. The Jumbos then concluded the regular-season with a 6:45 flat to defeat William Smith, WPI, Amherst, Skidmore and Clark.
Onto the New England Rowing Championships, Tufts reached the grand final and placed fifth out of 17 teams overall for its best showing at the regatta since 2006. They backed that up the next week by racing fifth again out of 21 at the ECAC National Invitational Regatta.
Similiar to this season, the 2005 Tufts team which earned the program's first-ever NCAA berth was an at-large team with only one boat in action. They took fifth in the petite final. The 2006 team was chosen to send two varsity eights to the NCAA's and placed fifth in the overall team standings.
The NCAA will produce live webcasts of all 61 races at the Rowing Championships at http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule/.
Follow results of the 2015 NCAA Rowing Championships at http://www.regattatiming.com/results/390/.