Now that another exciting collegiate women’s season has ended, it’s a good time to reflect on the performance of each conference at the 2019 NCAA’s compared to their 2018 NCAA results.
The PAC 12 brought their triple-threat in Cal, Stanford, and Washington to the NCAA’s; two weeks prior the PAC 12 championships showed any of them were capable of winning the NCAAs as all of them have done in the past. In the end, it was Washington who ended up sweeping all three events like they did in 2017, but the Huskies had to beat out a deeper and more competitive field this time around to take the NCAAs. Cal, who beat out Washington in 2018 for the NCAA title, finished 6th while Stanford repeated a 4th place finish. The PAC 12 had sent five schools to the NCAA’s in 2018, qualified only three for 2019. Look for the PAC 12 competing for 4 to 5 bids next season.
Coming into the NCAA’s, Texas had dominated their conference championships while posting some fast times. However, when it comes to the NCAA’s, it’s a whole different ballgame. To have a realistic chance of winning the NCAA’s, you really need to have all three crews in the A-Finals to have a shot. So, getting through the semifinals is a huge hurdle (never mind dodging the debris on the course) en route to a national title. Well, Texas managed to take one more step towards that NCAA title, moving from third to second place. Look for the Longhorns to continue to compete on the highest level while I see the Big 12 conference championships becoming more competitive in the next few years.
The Big Ten sent six teams to the NCAA’s as they had the deepest conference this season. Michigan and Ohio State continue to lead the conference, but the rest of the conference has been closing the gap over the last five years. With eight lanes across and a final-only format at the Big Ten Championships, it has become the most competitive conference championship from first to last. At the 2019 NCAA’s, both Michigan and Ohio State put all three of their crews in the A-Finals, giving the Wolverines a third-place finish and the Buckeyes taking fifth-place.
The Ivy League this season qualified four schools this year with Princeton leading the charge this season coming off an undefeated season in the V8 and Ivy League championship. All season it was Brown, Princeton, and Yale battling each other in the polls, ranked one behind the other almost weekly. And just like in 2018, these three schools finished right behind each other again, with Princeton being the top Ivy school in 7th place.
The ACC conference arrived at the 2019 NCAA’s with perennial contender UVA while Duke made their second trip to the NCAA’s. After the Cavaliers placed 5th in the 2018, they slipped to 10th in this highly competitive field.
Atlantic 10, AAC, CAA, MAAC, Patriot, West Coast
For teams in these six conferences not in the Power Five conferences, their best chance of qualifying for the NCAA’s is winning their conference championships – and the final team placements for these schools are important to them as well. Since 2013, when the NCAA Rowing Championships went to the 11 AQ’s and 11 At-Large bids, only two schools from these conferences have finished in top 16 at the NCAA’s. Both from the West Coast conference; San Diego finished 15th in 2015 and Gonzaga took 16th in 2016. Out of the six conferences this year it, was Navy who was highest finisher for the second year in a row.
|Gonzaga (West Coast)||20th||18th|
|Rhode Island (A 10)||21st||21st|
|Marist (MAAC)||22nd||22nd (Jacksonville)|
Fast Five Followup
Checking on my Fast Five heading into the NCAA’s, in the V8 event four out of five made the A-Finals while in the 2V8, only three out of five made. But in the V4, all five schools made the A-Finals.
|(bold crews made the A-Finals)|
Have a great summer and the 2020 season will be here before you know it!