Kiwi women podium across the board at NCAA finals

 

New Zealand rowers have had a stunning finals day at the NCAA Rowing Championships in Pennsauken, New Jersey.

Former Baradene College rower Lucy Burrell was in five seat of the Stanford University crew that won the Division I final in 6:17.15.

Lucy will be part of the first ever U23 trial for US-based athletes in the US next month.

The win was a result of having a crew completely focused on what it had to do, says Lucy.

"It was all about the trust and love we have for each other in the boat. We have this 'one-stroke' mentality where we just take it one stroke at a time. We knew we could keep pushing because we knew we were the fittest crew out there," she says.

Stanford claimed the points trophy for the regatta for just the 2nd time in its history.

Stanford University crew the winners of the division I final in 6:17.15. Former Baradene College rower, Lucy Burrell in five seat.

Elite Development athlete Ella Cossill stroked the University of Washington crew that finished 2nd in 6:19.55.

Former U23 international Veronica Wall stroked the Yale crew that finished 6th.

It was a huge day for Kiwi women across the programme, with three former Maadi and NZ U21 rowers in the Southern Methodist University eight winning the B final in Division I.

Former Marlborough Girls College rower Meg Flanagan was stroke of the boat, which also included Alice Fahey from Wellington Girls College and Nicole Campbell from Nelson College for Girls.

Alice will also be part of the U23 trials which are being held in California.

More of Stanford's Kiwi rowers also had success at the regatta, with Beckie Leigh winning in the 2nd Varsity eight and Brie Perry then stroked the Stanford V4+ crew to a 4th place finish, just narrowly being edged out by Brown University who took 3rd place.

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Stanford celebrating their success at the NCAA Rowing Championships.

Kiwi rowers Beckie Leigh (2nd Varsity eight winner) and Lucy Barrell (division 1 eight winner), Brie Perry (4th in Varsity coxed Four) all featured in photo.

Invercargill's Shakira Mirfin, also a triallist next month, was in the Washington boat that finished 2nd.

Lucy and Beckie were on a flight back to California just a few hours after the race. The celebrations had been even more special because Stanford flew the whole squad out to New Jersey for the weekend, even those who weren't part of the racing.
There's a lot to celebrate for Lucy, a sophomore majoring in a Science, Technology and Society degree, and the rest of Stanford's athletics department.

They are about to be presented with the Directors' Cup, the trophy for the best sports college across America. It's the 26th time Stanford has won the cup since it was first presented in 1994.

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University of Washington rowers: Elite Development athlete Ella Cossill is stroke for the Division 1 eight crew and Invercargill's Shakira Mirfin's crew was also second in Washingtons number 2 eight. Both Kiwi rowers are featured in this photo.

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FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: BECKIE LEIGH - STANFORD 2ND VARSITY EIGHT, LUCY BURRELL - 1ST VARSITY EIGHT, WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY'S SHAKIRA MIRFIN - 2ND VARSITY EIGHT AND 1ST VARSITY EIGHT CREW MEMBER ELLA COSSILL. 

New Zealand’s most successful female athlete at NCAA rowing level is Catherine Shields. The former Rangi Ruru student won the Division I title with Ohio State three years running from 2014-16.

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Andy Hay

Andy Hay is a freelance producer, writer and rowing coach. He was cox of the world champion New Zealand eight of 1982 and '83. He is NZ Olympian #446. 

If you have a rowing related story you want to have covered feel free to reach out to Andy at andygohay1@gmail.com