The Virginia women’s rowing team won the Varsity Four national title Sunday at the NCAA Championships in Gold River, California. As a team, the Cavaliers placed fifth overall for the third consecutive year as a result of the Varsity Four’s victory and the Varsity Eight’s third-place finish.
In a very tight race, the Varsity Four, consisting of senior coxswain Julia Roithmayr, senior stroke Maggie Bowman-Jones, sophomore three-seat Marijane Brennan, junior two-seat Hannah Solis-Cohen and sophomore bow Ellen Pate, finished with a time of 7:12.76, ahead of Yale (7:12.92) and Brown (7:13.07).
The Varsity Eight (6:24.348) finished in third place behind overall champion Ohio State (6:18.144) and second-place California (6:18.608), a pair of crews Virginia lost to earlier in the season. The Cavalier boat — composed of sophomore coxswain Colette Lucas-Conwell, junior stroke Mackenzi Sherman, sophomore seven-seat Erin Briggs, sophomore six-seat Georgia Ratcliff, freshman five-seat Eliza Spilsbury, senior four-seat Lizzy Youngling, senior three-seat Hemingway Benton, junior two-seat Tessa Dikkers and junior bow Sam Casto — outraced Texas (6:27.165), Stanford (6:28.018) and Washington (6:28.528).
The Second Varsity Eight placed 12th in its category, posting a time of 6:39.770.
Although the Cavaliers fell short of their ultimate goal of winning the NCAA Championship, it was another successful season for Virginia rowing, which has consistently proven to be among the NCAA’s top crews. With only four seniors in the top two boats, the Cavaliers are poised to grow from this season and be even faster when they return to action in the fall.