MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The fifth-ranked Wesleyan University women's crew earned an at-large bid to the 2019 NCAA Division III Rowing Championships, which will be held May 31-June 1 at the Indianapolis Rowing Center in Indianapolis, Ind. with Indiana University and the Indiana Sports Corporation serving as hosts.
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The Cardinals were named one of four at-large teams, joining Hamilton, Pacific Lutheran, and Wellesley. Additionally, four teams earned automatic berths for winning their conference titles—Bates (NESCAC), Ithaca (Liberty League), Washington College (Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference) and WPI (NEWMAC).
Wesleyan returns to the national championships for the fourth consecutive season, and second straight as a team. In 2016 and 2017, the Cardinals' Varsity 8 boat earned at-large bids and in 2016, Wesleyan's V8 became the first at-large boat to win a medal in tournament history as it finished third overall. Last year, the Cardinals finished fifth overall with a team score of 38.
Wesleyan excelled at the National Invitational Rowing Championships (NIRC) last weekend to help itself earn an at-large bid. The Cardinals took home the bronze medal in the Second Varsity 8 with a time of 7:10.103, and finished fourth overall in the Varsity 8. In the boat's morning heat, Wesleyan defeated Williams by one second to finish second, earning a spot in the Grand Final while knocking the Ephs out. In the finals, the Cardinals crossed the finish line in 6:56.813 to place fourth overall.