May 27, 2010
By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant
GOLD RIVER, Calif. - The No. 16-ranked University of Tennessee rowing team went through its final preparations before beginning the 2010 NCAA Rowing Championships on Friday morning at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center.
The Lady Vols are making their seventh appearance in the NCAAs and fourth as a full team.
UT earned a bid after capturing the inaugural Conference USA Rowing Championship at the 2010 Aramark Sprints, held from May 15-16 in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Tennessee was bolstered in that competition by strong performances from both the varsity eight and the second varsity eight as both shells reached the grand finals.
After failing to qualify for the NCAA Championships in 2009, the Lady Vols are undoubtedly glad to be back. After all, Tennessee has made full team appearances in four of the last five seasons.
On this very same course in 2008, the Big Orange posted a 5th place finish in the Second Varsity 8+, the best finish for an individual boat in school history.
The Big Orange will be led by Conference USA Rower of the Year Laura Miller, who will be competing for the final time in her Tennessee career.
The current senior class has been a part of three of the four full-team appearances at NCAAs in Tennessee history.
Tennessee does have some familiarity with the Sacramento State Aquatic Center, having competed at the 2010 Lake Natoma Invitational here on April 17-18. UT posted a fourth-place finish, bolstered by a victory over Wisconsin in the B Final of the Varsity 8+.
The Sacramento State Aquatic Center is one of the finest facilities in the country, offering jet skiing, youth programs, rowing, water skiing, sailing, kayaking, wind surfing and canoeing.
In the NCAA Women's Rowing Championship's 14-year history, the Aquatic Center has served as the host site six times, including this year. Sacramento's history with the NCAA's premier rowing event dates all the way back to 1997, when the University of Washington edged Princeton to take home the sport's first NCAA title on the waters of Lake Natoma. Since then, Cal and Brown have both tasted victory at the Aquatic Center, with Brown taking three of its record six national championships in Sacramento.
Results for the 2010 NCAA Championships will be available at NCAA.com.
Fans are reminded to follow the Lady Vols on Twitter at www.twitter.com/UTLadyVols