UW wins NCAA women's rowing title; Pac-12 first to 500 titles

Washington won the NCAA women's rowing title Sunday, making the Pac-12 Conference the first league to reach 500 national championships.

The top-ranked Huskies beat Stanford and California by a comfortable margin in the final race Sunday at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, New Jersey, posting a time of 6:36.939 in the varsity eight grand final.

Washington became the 173rd women's team in the Pac-12 to win an NCAA title. The Pac-12 has the most championships from current member schools by a wide margin; the Big Ten has the second-most titles with 307 and the SEC is third with 220.

It was the Huskies' fourth rowing championship in the NCAA regatta era and their first since 2001. Washington also won seven titles before the NCAA began the regatta in 1997.

"I was just so impressed by how every single person on this team stepped up from the first day," Washington coach Yasmin Farooq told the school's website. "They really, really did. Today they showed what great teammates do for one another. We always viewed it as a team championship where every person mattered."

Washington also became the first school in the 21-year history of the regatta to win all three grand finals, as the Huskies also claimed victories in the second varsity eight and the varsity four. They won all nine races during the three-day event -- including their heats and semifinal races -- to finish with a maximum 132 points.

"Outside of the Olympic finals, this is the most competitive racing on the planet at rowing at the NCAA's," Farooq said. "You see photo finishes every day. We knew it would come down to every boat having their best performance and also culminating in the varsity eight final."