The No. 2 Virginia women’s rowing team had a strong showing this weekend, notching wins in 10 of 12 dual races at the two-day Pac-12 Challenge in Redwood Shores, California. The fast West Coast competition included No. 4 California, No. 5 Stanford, No. 16 Washington State and Oregon State.
Saturday, the Cavaliers were victorious in seven of eight races. They only fell in the afternoon session to Stanford in the Varsity Eight race, by 4.2 seconds (6:25.1 vs 6:20.9) on the Cardinals’ home course. Virginia edged Stanford in races between their Second Varsity Eight (6:32.5 vs 6:36.5) and Varsity Four (7:18.8 vs 7:26.9).
During morning competition, the Cavaliers posted decisive wins against Oregon State in the Varsity Eight (6:30.0 vs. 6:43.5), Second Varsity Eight (6:37.6 vs. 6:41.6) and Varsity Four (7:27.5 vs 7:42.1) races. Virginia’s Second Varsity Four also crushed Washington State by 23.2 seconds (7:25.9 vs 7:49.1).
Day Two featured a showdown between two top-ranked crews, No. 2 Virginia and No. 4 California. The Cavaliers narrowly beat the Bears in races between the Second Varsity Eight (6:26.2 vs 6:30.2), Varsity Four (7:13.9 vs 7:18.8) and Second Varsity Four (7:18.1 vs 7:20.9). However, Cal earned the victory in the showcase Varsity Eight race by seven seconds (6:16.7 vs 6:23.7).
Virginia’s Varsity Eight boat for the weekend consisted of coxswain Colette Lucas-Conwell and rowers Chandler Lally (stroke), Hemingway Benton (7 seat), Lizzy Youngling (6 seat), Georgia Ratcliff (5 seat), Eliza Spilsbury (4 seat), Maddie Keating (3 seat), Erin Briggs (2 seat) and Sam Casto (bow). This was a slightly different lineup from the Varsity Eight boat that won ACC Crew of the Week after the Oak Ridge Invitational, with changes in both coxswain and stroke seat.
The Second Varsity Eight for all races consisted of coxswain Hayley LaFleche and rowers Shawna Sims (stroke), Mackenzi Sherman (7 seat), Anna Fairs (6 seat), Lexie Katz (5 seat), Chelsea Adams (4 seat), Mackenzie Springer (3 seat), Jo Gurman (2 seat) and Tessa Dikkers (bow).
The Varsity Four for Day 1 (a.m.) and Second Varsity Four for Day 1 (p.m.) and Day 2 featured coxswain Chloe Sykes and rowers Ali Zwicker (stroke), Kathryn Cook (3 seat), Paula Lewis (2 seat) and Karen Schulte (bow). The Varsity Four for Day 1 (p.m.) and Day 2 and Second Varsity Four for Day 1 (a.m.) included coxswain Julia Roithmayr and rowers Marijane Brennan (stroke), Maggie Bowman-Jones (3 seat), Jennifer Reid (2 seat) and Ellen Pate (bow).
The Cavaliers expected the tough competition they faced this weekend on the west coast and planned this regatta as an important tuneup for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge April 4 at Lake Monticello. Racing begins at 9 a.m. and includes crews from No. 1 Ohio State, No. 6 Michigan, Clemson and also Navy.
—compiled by Alix Glynn