The Rutgers rowing program already made history this weekend by competing in its third consecutive NCAA Championships for the first time ever. For the second time during this span, the Scarlet Knights outperformed their national ranking entering the event. Ranked No. 16 in the polls, RU completed a 13th place finish out of 22 teams with 64 total points on Sunday in Sarasota, Florida.
The Varsity 4 finished in 9th place overall in its boat class after a third place finish in the petite final on Sunday. They were in last place (sixth out of six) at the midway point of the race before mounting a tremendous comeback. The Scarlet Knights were able to pass No. 4 Yale, No. 8 Michigan and No. 18 USC along the way for a respectable finish.
Both the Varsity 8 and 2nd Varsity 8 both won their C finals to finish in 13th place overall in their boat classes.
The Varsity 8 overcame No. 15 Oregon State and No. 18 USC to win the hotly contested race by a little more than a second. The 2nd Varsity 8 led their C final the entire way to finish ahead of No. 15 Oregon St., No. 14 Duke, No. 13 Syracuse, and No. 18 USC.
Rutgers saw all three boats outperform their respective seeding for nationals. The Varsity 4 boat was ranked 15th but finished six spots better. The Varsity 8 boat was seeded 16th but finished three spots better. The 2nd Varsity 8 boat was ranked 15th and finished two spots better.
For full results of the 2022 NCAA Championships, click here.
“I am incredibly proud of how our team performed today across all three boats,” Price said. “It was a lot of fun to watch both Varsity 8’s win their final and it was especially impressive to watch the Varsity 4 move through a large portion of the field to finish in the top-10 overall. We absolutely brought our best race on the last day of the season.”
In 2019, Rutgers rowing finished 11th at the NCAA Championships after coming in with a national ranking of 13th. A program best 7th place finish was the result last year with RU ranked 7th nationally ahead of the NCAA Championships. This past weekend, Rutgers finished three spots ahead its national ranking coming into this event.
Overall, head coach Justin Price’s program has averaged a 10th place finish at the NCAA Championships over the last three years. Price inherited a program that hadn’t been to this event 18 years. Five years later his impact has been immense.
Coming into the event, graduate student Sophia Catuogno was awarded the Elite 90 award for the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Rowing Championship. The award is given to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships. This is the first time a Rutgers student-athlete has won the Elite 90 award in any sport since it was first implemented in 2009.