Ivy Champion Tiger Women Place 7th At NCAAs To Wrap Thrilling Season
The Princeton open women, ranked ninth or 10th throughout the entire season, completed its Ivy League championship year by finishing seventh at the 2016 NCAA Championships, held at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, Calif.
Princeton put up a huge showing Saturday, qualifying an Ivy League-best two boats into grand finals. Those two (1V and 2V) weren't able to improve their seed in Sunday's finals, though the V4 posted an impressive performance in its petite final after a heavy weekend of racing.
California won the 2016 NCAA Championship with 129 points, while defending champion Ohio State finished second with 126 points. The Buckeyes did retain their 1V championship status with an impressive win over California.
The rest of the Top 10 included (in order): Virginia, Stanford, Washington, Brown, Princeton, Texas, Wisconsin and Michigan.
The Princeton first varsity qualified for the grand final in an absolute thriller Saturday morning, where three boats finished within .12 seconds of each other. It wasn't able to get back into that mix on Sunday; Ohio State, California and Stanford spent much of the race in the top three positions, while Brown made a late charge and just missed on the bronze.
Princeton pulled within a couple seats of Virginia for fifth over the final 500 meters, but the Cavaliers had one last push remaining and held the spot.
The 2V race was a bit of a similar story; one day after Princeton made a big push to become the only Ivy 2V to make the grand final, it wasn't able to hold a position to challenge the rest of the field. California and Ohio State had an exciting race for gold, while Texas topped Princeton by about six seconds for the fifth spot.
Princeton's best drama came in the petite final, and it came between the Tigers and the Longhorns in that race as well. Yale, the Ivy champion in the fours, held control much of the way in the petite final and won by more than two seconds, though Texas looked to be the favorite for second most of the race.
The Tiger fours, which doesn't include a senior and had two freshmen in it, had the best final sprint in the field and edged the Longhorns by less than .4 of a second for second place in the race.
• After missing the 1V grand final in both 2014 and 2015, Princeton returned to the race this season. The Tigers have never missed three straight NCAA grand finals in the 1V, and it won gold medals in both the 2006 and 2011 event.
• Princeton improved its team finish by five spots from last season; that is the second-most for a Princeton program in the 20 years of the NCAA Championships (the 2010 team finished third after finishing 10th the previous year).
• Princeton remains one of three programs to have competed in every NCAA Championships regatta, joining both Washington and Brown.
• Of the 23 Princeton student-athletes who traveled to California, six were freshmen, six were sophomores, six were juniors and five were seniors.
First Varsity Grand Final
1 - Ohio State 6:19.035
2 - California 6:21.111
3 - Stanford 6:22.167
4 - Brown 6:22.186
5 - Virginia 6:23.308
6 - Princeton 6:26.186
Second Varsity Grand Final
1 - California 6:28.064
2 - Ohio State 6:28.900
3 - Washington 6:30.551
4 - Virginia 6:33.662
5 - Texas 6:35.285
6 - Princeton 6:41.308
Varsity Four Petite Final
1 - Yale 7:15.440
2 - Princeton 7:17.904
3 - Texas 7:17.940
4 - Brown 7:20.518
5 - Wisconsin 7:22.380
6 - Indiana 7:23.400