Going into this year’s NCAA national championships in Sacramento, California, UVA’s women’s rowing squad was tied with Brown and Washington for the most Varsity Four titles ever. But after edging out Yale by a razor-thin 0.16-second margin for a fifth Varsity Four crown, Virginia now stands alone in the record books.
“That race was the culmination of preparation,” says head coach Kevin Sauer of the Varsity Four race. “They had a lot of confidence going in.”
The Varsity Four team included bow Ellen Pate (Col ’17), two-seat Hannah Solis-Cohen (Col ’16), three-seat Marijane Brennan (Col ’17), stroke Maggie Bowman-Jones (Col ’15) and coxswain Julia Roithmayr (Col ’15). The team finished the race in 7:12.760, besting Yale’s 7:12.920 effort. The title gives the Cavaliers nine boat national championships, along with a pair of team championships.
Sauer says this is something the team will always remember. “It’s very special anytime you win a national championship.”
The Varsity Eight team also gave a stellar performance at the NCAA championships, coming in third with a time of 6:24.348. Ultimately, the Cavaliers came in fifth place in the final team standings, earning 104 points.
For Sauer, this was a weekend to be proud of. “Varsity Eight is the premier event, and the team came in the third best place in the country,” he says. “They did really well.”