UCF Varsity Eight Earns At-Large Bid to NCAA Championship

May 15, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF women's rowing team made history on Tuesday afternoon when the No. 11-ranked varsity eight was announced as one of the 16 crews that will compete in the 2007 NCAA Championships, which will take place in Oak Ridge, Tenn. from May 25-27. It marks the first time that the Knights have received a bid to the NCAA Championship.

"I am proud of what these women have been able to accomplish this season," said UCF head coach Leeanne Crain. "They worked hard in order to reach this goal and deserve to be among the top 16 eights in the country."

UCF's boat, which features its top eight rowers and a coxswain, was tabbed as one of the championship's four at-large selections along with UCLA, Stanford and Dartmouth. The 12 schools selected for the team competition were Brown, California, Harvard, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Princeton, Southern California, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington and Yale. The programs will each enter a varsity eight, second varsity eight and a varsity four.

The Knights earned the bid thanks to an impressive spring, which started with nine consecutive victories, including wins against Virginia, UCLA and Washington State. During the season, UCF was ranked as high as No. 9 in the USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Division I Varsity Eight national poll.

Featuring five Canadians and four Americans, the varsity eight line-up consists of sophomore coxswain Katie Chapman (St. Catharines, Ontario); seniors Krystina Sarff (Tampa, Fla.), Stephanie Pauls (St. Catharines, Ontario) and Melissa Westhoff (Jacksonville, Fla.); juniors Caitlin Pauls (St. Catharines, Ontario) and Erin Riegel (Columbia, Md.); and sophomores Tara Rogers (Longwood, Fla.), Tanis Franchuk (Victoria, British Columbia) and Stephanie Adams (Calgary, Alberta).

Seniors Robin Capers (Winter Park, Fla.) and Brittney Kusner (Sarasota, Fla.) will serve as the two alternates.

"The last two years, my teammates and I have set our minds on making it to the national championship," said Sarff, who along with Westhoff serves as one of the squad's captains. "All of our hard work paid off and we are finally able to say we got there."

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports.

Team Participants
Notre Dame
Ohio State
Southern California

At-Large Varsity Eights