The 14th ranked Rutgers women’s rowing team continued to venture into uncharted waters this past weekend, completing a program best fourth place finish at the Big Ten Championships at Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The conference had six teams ranked in the top 15 nationally entering this weekend’s competition. Rutgers finished with 107 team points, just two points behind third place finisher and no. 11 ranked Wisconsin. Here are the final standings:
In addition, Rutgers earned the program’s first ever Big Ten medals with a second place finish in the second varsity four and a third place finish in the third varsity four.
Senior Sarah Johanek earned her third consecutive First Team All-Big Ten honors, while sophomore Ella Toa was named Second Team All-Big Ten for the second straight year. Her classmate Olivia Maxton earned the Sportsmanship award.
Other notable performances was a fourth place finish in the varsity eight race, which was the best result since competing in the Big Ten Championships.
The program has rapidly improved under second year head coach Justin Price, who led Rutgers to its best Big Ten Championship performance last season with a seventh place finish. This season, they’ve been nationally ranked most of the season, have earned three Big Ten Boat of the Week honors and after this weekend, even more improvement with a program best fourth place finish on the conference’s biggest stage.
“I’m really impressed with our team’s performance today as I have been all season,” said Price. “I think it’s pretty clear that we have a motivated group that is moving in the right direction.”
The season is not over yet. There are 11 at-large berths for the NCAA Championships in two weeks and Rutgers appears to have a very good chance to be selected. The selection show will be held on Tuesday, May 21 at 5 p.m. on NCAA.com and we will provide an update that evening.