The No. 3 Virginia rowing team enjoyed another impressive, if not spectacular, outing at this past weekend’s Clemson Invitational, which featured 19 of the sport’s most prestigious programs. With three victories against other ranked adversaries, the First Varsity Eight squad highlighted the Cavaliers’ performance.
Although the Varsity Eight ousted No. 4 Ohio State by 2.9 seconds and No. 18 Louisville by a full 10 to spark Virginia with an early triumph Saturday morning, it was the Buckeyes who ruled the first day of competition. Ohio State won races in the Second Varsity Eight, Varsity Four, Novice Eight and Third Varsity Four divisions, while Virginia’s Second Varsity Four alone managed to add a victory to the Varsity Eight’s opening conquest. The Cavaliers did manage to finish runners-up to the Buckeyes in each of the races they failed to win.
For Saturday afternoon’s second round of competition, Virginia faced six entirely new opponents as the competition groups for the meet shifted. The Cavaliers fared even better against the likes of No. 5 UCLA, No. 13 Michigan, No. 19 Cornell, No. 20 Duke, Oregon State and Oklahoma, winning three of five races and blasting the Varsity Eight field with a blistering time of 6:12.8. In the Varsity Four and Second Varsity Eight divisions — traditionally home to teams’ second and third most competitive boats — the Cavaliers finished second and third, respectively. UCLA rolled in both races.
Sunday morning posed only a mild challenge for Virginia, as the Varsity Eight, Varsity Four and Second Varsity Eight squads outstripped their competitors with ease.
The Cavaliers return to action this weekend when they host the UVa Invitational at Lake Monticello this Saturday.