Top-Ranked Virginia The Favorite at Saturday's 2012 ACC Rowing Championships

April 18, 2012

Virginia, ranked No. 1 nationally throughout the 2012 season, is a strong favorite to capture its 12th ACC Rowing title this Saturday, when the Atlantic Coast Conference holds its 13th ACC Rowing Championship on Lake Hartwell in Clemson, S.C. Saturday’s event will mark the 10th time Clemson has served as the host of the Rowing Championships, and the Tigers are the only other ACC team to have captured an ACC Rowing title, upsetting the Cavaliers on Lake Hartwell in 2009.

The Tigers again appear to be Virginia’s main challenger, though the Cavaliers come into the meet with the best times in each of the four events: The First Varsity Eight (6:14.50); The Second Varsity Eight (6:32.00); the First Varsity Four (7:01.60) and the Novice Eight (6:36.80).

Both Clemson (6:26.08) and Duke (6:22.79), have compiled fast times in the premier First Varsity Eight competition and should make the day’s final race an exciting one.

In all, six ACC teams will compete for the Championship with Boston College, Miami and North Carolina joining the Cavaliers, Tigers and Blue Devils.

Virginia is coming off a strong performance this past weekend as the Cavaliers swept 15 races in competitions with 15th-ranked Michigan State, 14th-ranked Cornell and 19th-ranked Minnesota at Lake Monticello just outside of Charlottesville.

Duke’s First Varsity Eight boat, named the ACC Crew of the Week this week, is also coming off an impressive performance, capturing the Women’s Collegiate competition at the Knecht Cup on the Cooper River, posting a time of 6:25.69.

The Blue Devils will be seeded 2nd at the ACC Championships, after tying Clemson and gaining the second seed on a tie-breaker.

Boston College also took a title at the Knecht Cup, taking the Novice Eight competition in a time of 6:42.58. The Eagles’ tied Duke for the 2nd seed in the Novice Eight, but lost the seed by tiebreaker.

Virginia has captured 44 of the 48 races held in the previous 12 ACC Rowing Championships. Clemson is the only other ACC squad to have captured a race in the Championships, taking the First Varsity Four races in 2001 and 2009 and the First Varsity Eight in 2009, the year the Tigers also won the Rowing title, and the Novice Eight competition in 2008, setting an ACC Championship record (6:46.3) in the process.

The host Tigers are also the only other ACC squad besides Virginia to capture an event title at the NCAA Championships. winning national honors in the First Varsity Four in 2009. UVa has taken home five national event titles: four times winning the NCAA First Varsity Four competition (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2010) and once capturing the Second Varsity Eight competition (2005).

Virginia also enters this weekend having been ranked No. 1 nationally in each of the first five national CRCA polls of the year and have been ranked in 50 consecutive polls and have appeared in 85 of 86 possible national rankings since 2002.

Clemson was unranked this week after appearing in 43 straight CRCA polls. The Tigers were among teams receiving votes and would be ranked 22nd, if the ranking went that far.

Saturday’s ACC Championships will make the 10th time that Clemson and Lake Hartwell have hosted the event. The inaugural ACC Rowing Championship in 2000 was held on Lake Monticello located just outside of Charlottesville, Va. Lake Monticello also hosted the 2003 ACC title, with the 2009 Championship being held on Lake Melton in Oak Ridge, Tenn., due to low water levels at Lake Hartwell that year.