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May 28, 2004

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Ohio State rowing team had a successful first day of racing as two-of three boats won their preliminary heats at the 2004 NCAA Championships at CSUS Aquatic Center in Sacramento, Calif. The Buckeyes’ first varsity four set a program record by finishing first in their heat to automatically advance to the Grand Finals Sunday. The first varsity eight won their heat to advance to the semifinals Saturday, while the second eight finished fifth in the preliminary heat to race in the repechage heat Saturday.

“It was a great first day of racing,” Andy Teitelbaum, Ohio State head coach, said. “It was truly fantastic to see the four boat advance straight to the finals. We have never had a boat advance automatically to the finals.”

Ohio State had a great start to the three-day competition, as the first varsity eight won their heat to advance to the semifinals. Washington began the race strong leading through the first 500 meters. At the 1000 meter mark, OSU and Washington were fighting head-to-head for the lead. The Buckeyes made their move and took the lead at the 1500 meter mark. The first varsity eight finished with a time of 6:45.6, just .6 seconds ahead of second-place Washington. Notre Dame finished third (6:48.7) followed by a close fourth-place finish by Tennessee (6:49.1). OSU’s first place finish advanced them to the semifinals Saturday.

The second varsity eight was unable keep up the Buckeye momentum, as they finish fifth in their heat. Brown gained the lead in the first 500 meters. OSU advanced to fourth at the 1500 meter mark but was unable to continue their lead over Wisconsin. The Buckeyes finished fifth with a time of 6:59.0, 1.5 seconds behind fourth-place Wisconsin. Brown finished first (6:47.3), followed by Virginia 6:48.8 and Michigan in third at 6:54.8. Only the teams finishing first in each preliminary heat of the second varsity eight competition advance to the Grand Finals, all others compete in the repechages Saturday. The Buckeyes’ first varsity four gained the lead early and never looked back as they won the race 3.3 seconds ahead of Washington. OSU finished at 7:35.4, followed by Washington at 7:38.7 and Brown at 7:41.6. The victory marked the first time in program history a varsity four or a second eight bypassed the repechage heats by winning the preliminary heat. The Buckeyes automatically qualified for the Grand Finals, which will be held Sunday.

“Tomorrow is a big day for us,” Teitelbaum said. “The first varsity is in the semifinals and the second varsity is in the repechage. We really need to get both of those boat in the finals.”

Racing will resume for Ohio State at 10 a.m. (PDT) Saturday with the second varsity eight heats. Live results can be found at http://www.jamcotimes.com/2004/ncaaw/index.htm.

Ohio State Race Results

IV8 – Heat 1 1. Ohio State 6:45.6 2. Washington 6:46.2 3. Notre Dame 6:48.7 4. Tennessee 6:49.1 5. USC 6:49.9 6. Michigan State 6:55.5 Top 3 to semifinals; remainder to repechages.

IIV8 – Heat 1 1. Brown 6:47.3 2. Virginia 6:48.8 3. Michigan 6:54.8 4. Wisconsin 6:57.5 5. Ohio State 6:59.0 6. Michigan State 7:01.7 Winner to Grand Finals; remainder to repechages

IV4 – Heat 2 1. Ohio State 7:35.4 2. Washington 7:38.7 3. Brown 7:41.6 4. Wisconsin 7:43.1 5. Michigan 7:48.1 6. Harvard 7:51.5 Winner to Grand Finals; remainder to repechages