STORY BY CHIP DAVIS | PHOTO BY MIKE CIRILO
Cal Poly Humboldt won both the eight and four grand finals to secure the Lumberjack’s third NCAA Division II National Championship on Camden N.J.’s Cooper River. Cal Poly Humboldt previously won the D II championships in 2012 and 2014.
Wellesley College made it back to back as NCAA Division III champions with a win in the first eight final and second place in the second eight final.
After a false start that brought all six grand finalist back for a re-start, Ithaca College led by as much as half a length in the first 500. But defending champion Wellesley rowed their way in the lead and never looked back, winning by open water. Wesleyan worked their way into second, and Ithaca recovered to win the bronze. Tufts, Williams, and Bates rounded out the grand final.
Also on Saturday, semifinals set the fields for the Sunday finals that will determine the Division I national championship, based on points earned the first eight, second eight, and four.
“There was great racing in an incredibly tight field in all three events,” said Virginia’s associate head coach Kelsie Chaudoin.
Washington and Stanford have each shown well in Friday’s heats and Saturday’s semifinals. Pre-race favorites Princeton and Texas join The Cardinal and Yale in all three of the grand finals, giving them the best chances to score the points that decide NCAA national championships.