The Virginia women’s rowing dynasty just extended its conference title streak to eight. Sunday on Lake Hartwell in Clemson, S.C., the No. 11 Cavaliers won four of five races to claim their 17th ACC crown since the championship regatta was established in 2000.
After a grueling spring season filled with competition against top ranked teams, Virginia came out ready to defend its title, finishing first with 96 points — ahead of No. 13 Syracuse with 83 points.
Though this team has not been quite as dominant as in years past, the Cavaliers pulled out the victory thanks to the commanding performance of their Varsity Eight, which was seeded No. 2 behind the Syracuse Varsity Eight.
Behind the leadership of senior captains Georgia Ratcliff and Ellen Pate, the Varsity Eight raced to a 6:19.734 time — four seconds ahead of Notre Dame and Syracuse.
Ratcliff and Pate, two senior captains, along with fellow seniors Colette Lucas-Conwell and Erin Briggs, were named to the All-ACC Rowing first team.
Virginia’s Third Varsity Eight, Varsity Four and Second Varsity Four each picked up crucial victories contributing to the championship. Virginia’s Varsity Four posted a 7:04.398 for its fifth-straight ACC grand final win, while the second Varsity Four added a time of 7:07.564.
Since the ACC championship regatta started in 2000, the Virginia team has been consistently dominant — winning 68 of 75 championship races.
The Cavaliers will look to finish their season with a strong showing at the NCAA Rowing Championship May 26-28 in Mercer County Park, N.J.