The USC women’s rowing team used a bronze-medal finish in the grand final by the Varsity Eight, along with wins by the 2nd Varsity Eight and Varsity Four in their respective events, to earn a sixth-place finish in the NCAA championships on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J., on Sunday.
The Varsity Eight continued their regular season dominance, using a late push in the last 500 meters of the main event to beat out Princeton, California and Washington after entering the midpoint of the race in the middle of the pack. The Women of Troy’s third-place time of 6:25.06, tying the best-ranked finish in school history, fell just short of Michigan (6:22.09) and Virginia (6:18.72).
The 2nd Varsity Eight rebounded from a rough start to the tournament, leading the petite final from beginning to end and taking first with a time of 6:42.97. Washington took second (6:43.26), followed by Brown, Wisconsin, Stanford and Yale.
The Varsity Four also bounced back from a disappointing start, taking the lead in the final 500m of the third final en route to a first-place finish of 7:32.59, beating out Brown, Michigan State and Stanford.
USC finished second out of the five Pac-12 schools competing at the NCAA championships. The team also fell just short of tying its school-best fifth-place finishes in 2007 and 2011.