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Tigers to Host ACC Rowing for 13th Time; Third-Ranked Virginia Favored to Win 15th Title
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Defending ACC Champion and third-ranked Virginia will be the favorite this weekend when Clemson hosts the 16th Annual Atlantic Coast Conference Rowing Championship on Lake Hartwell.
The competition begins Friday afternoon, May 15, at 6 p.m. with Heat One of the Third Varsity Eight and concludes at 7:30 p.m. with Heat Two of the First Varsity Eight.
The Championship finals begin on Saturday morning, May 16, at 8:05 a.m., with the Petite Final of the Third Varsity Eight, and concludes with the running of the Grand Final of the First Varsity Eight at 9:35 a.m.
The Championship finals will be streamed live in its entirety by ESPN3 beginning at 8 a.m. with Dean Linke and Steve Pritzker providing the play-by-play and analysis.
The Cavaliers, coached by Kevin Sauer, have won the last five ACC Rowing titles. Virginia is top seeded in each of the five races: The First Varsity Eight, the Second Varsity Eight, the Third Varsity Eight, the First Varsity Four and the Second Varsity Four.
This weekend’s championship marks the return of the Second Varsity Four race as a scoring event. The 2V4 race was held in the first two ACC Rowing Championships at Lake Monticello (Va.) in 2000 and at Lake Hartwell in 2001, but was replaced by the Novice Eight as a scoring event from 2002 through 2013. The Novice Eight was replaced last year by the Third Varsity Eight. The addition of the Second Varsity Four gives the Championship five scoring races for the first time in its history.
Syracuse, Notre Dame and Louisville look to be the prime challengers to the Cavaliers this year.
Syracuse, coached by Justin Moore, is ranked 16th nationally and is the No. 2 seed in four of the five events. Notre Dame, which is coached by Martin Stone and is ranked 19th nationally this week, was last year’s ACC runner-up and finished ninth nationally. Louisville, which is 23rd in the latest CRCA poll and is coached by Derek Copeland, finished 17th in last year’s NCAA Championships as the American Athletic Conference champion.
This weekend’s championship also marks the debut of Louisville as the conference’s ninth rowing program. The Cardinals finished 17th nationally last year in the NCAA championships. Joining this quartet will be Clemson, Duke, Boston College, Miami and North Carolina.
Host Clemson, coached by first-year head coach Stephen Frazier Wong, is the only other program besides Virginia to claim an ACC Rowing Championship. The Tigers won the 2009 title, ironically on Lake Melton in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and not on Lake Hartwell. The Tigers have also won six individual event championships, the only ACC program besides UVa to do so. Clemson has also claimed nine runner-up finishes in the ACC Championship.
Duke, coached by Robyn Horner, is the only other ACC program to manage a second place team finish. The Blue Devils finished second in four championships in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006.