The Hamilton College Continentals advanced their boats to Saturday morning's varsity and second varsity 8 grand finals in the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Rowing Championships at the Indianapolis Rowing Center at Eagle Creek Park on Friday.
Please click on the link below for more information about the championships including tickets, spectator parking, visitor information, the official championships program, weather report, schedule of events, a championship app for Apple and Google devices, and heat sheets/live results.
NCAA Rowing Championships Microsite
The start of Friday's racing was delayed nearly eight hours due to storms that ripped through Indianapolis overnight and left a considerable amount of debris on the course that needed to be cleared. The championships finally got underway for Hamilton at 4:10 p.m. with their second varsity 8 heat.
The Continentals didn't disappoint in the second varsity 8 as they took second place in their four-boat heat where the top three finishers were separated by less than two-tenths of a second. Hamilton's time of 6:47.777 edged Wellesley College (6:47.787) by the slimmest of margins and the Continentals automatically clinched a spot in the grand final at 11:12 a.m. on Saturday, June 1. Wesleyan University won the heat in 6:47.652 and Ithaca College was a distant fourth with a time of 7:05.972.
"The 2V8+ showed what it takes to race side by side at championship racing, qualifying directly to the finals with a second place finish behind Wesleyan by 0.1 seconds and in front of Wellesley by 0.01 seconds," head coach Jim Lister said. "What an exciting race for the boat with a finish that close. The boat stayed fully committed and finished with a great sprint. The boat keeps elevating their ceiling every time they race."
Hamilton worked hard to earn a spot in the varsity 8 grand final as the Continentals had to race twice on Friday. In the afternoon's second heat of the varsity 8, Hamilton finished in third place with a time of 6:51.149. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (6:39.264) edged Wellesley (6:40.747) for the top spot and Pacific Lutheran University ended up fourth in 6:54.467.
"The 1V8+ took third in their heat after a shaky second 500 that had them too far back to challenge WPI and Wellesley," Lister said. "A third place finish puts you in the reps to try and qualify for the finals. The boat responded incredibly well by collecting themselves and committing to the task in the reps as they had a close finish with Wesleyan and advanced to the finals. It was a long day, and in the end the boat made it to the finals."
The Continentals moved on to the evening's repechage and clinched one of the last two places in the grand final by finishing second with a time of 6:54.006. Wesleyan landed less than two seconds ahead of Hamilton in 6:52.249. The grand final is scheduled to start on Saturday at 11:36 a.m.
"Both boats go in tomorrow having created an opportunity to keep reaching above our team rank," Lister said. "It will be very close racing and they are ready to race. It's the last time you race in your lineups. It's the last time with the seniors, so it's special to go one last time down the course together."