Prediction – W8V – Virginia Championship

Important Note : I am posting this now because I have finished it.  However – I used an advanced copy of the heat sheets which might change.  I will revisit this if necessary.

 

Prediction for the W8V (Women’s First Eight) Event:

This event has been dominated at the Occoquan this year by one team – the Madison Women.  There are 17 other competetors going up against this team.  Can any of those 17 teams beat Madison?  For 14 of those 17, I think the answer is “No”.  One team I know nothing about – the Langley crew.  Langley has done very well in some events but I don’t see that they have raced a womens eight this year.  It would be a tremendous surprise.

 

The First legitimate contender is Yorktown.  They have raced well this year and were within 5 seconds of TJ on the Anacostia two weeks ago.  They were 5 seconds behind Madison on 9 April at the Darrell Winslow. Can they improve enough to get up for the win?  Possibly – but I think the odds are against them.  I think we would need to see faults from the two top contenders for them to pull through.

The second legitimate contender is the Thomas Jefferson women.  TJ went up against Madison in the Polar Bear Regatta and finished 6 seconds behind Madison.  At the Walter Mess Regatta the following week they were only 2 seconds behind at the finish.  TJ raced in Delaware on 23 Apr at the Noxontown Regatta and won both their heat and the final against tough competition.  They raced the Gonzaga Invitational on the 30th on the Anacostia and won their race there.  Based on those two races – they are close to even with Madison.  I respect the TJ program.  I respect the Madison program.  If I had to choose a team to win I would choose Madison, but I see this as a close race between these two teams and I would not be surprised to see TJ up for the win.

Here are my top three:

  1. Madison
  2. Thomas Jefferson
  3. Yorktown.

The next two contenders are Robinson and TC WilliamsRobinson has the edge here.  In fact – looking back at my numbers for the year, Robinson has rowed very smart races all year.  They use the heats to get to the finals, then give their best performance in the finals.  To get up for the win they would have to have a big improvement from their previous efforts – I’m placing them in fourth.  TC Williams has varied.  At their best they are on par with Robinson, at their worst they run with National Cathedral.  Somewhere in the 4th/5th/6th range is where I am looking – with the odds on 5th.

As mentioned – National Cathedral rounds out the top 6.  Looking at the seeding for the race (heat sheets – I got a copy – I hope to post them) – all these teams should have the capability to move out of their heats and into the finals.

Whom else might break through to the finals?  In the first heat (A)- Madison and TCW should go through.   Westfield and West Potomac would be possible should TC Williams falter.  Westfield would be most likely to take advantage of the opportunity if they row a great race.  I doubt West Potomac would be able to pull through. Sidwell Friends and Norfolk Academy are here as well – but the rest of the field is tough and I would expect to see these two trail the others.

In the second heat, Thomas Jefferson and National Cathedral would be expected to advance.  Their heat includes West Springfield, Georgetown Visitation, Mt Vernon and Princess Anne.  Of those, Georgetown Visitation and West Springfield have equal chances – although that chance is pretty slim.  Mt Vernon will trail.  Princess Anne took 4th in the W8V final at the EVSRA championships – 25 seconds behind Hickory.  I don’t know how Hickory stacks up against it’s northern neighbors, but I don’t see Princess Anne as a possibility.

In the third heat we have Robinson and Yorktown expected to pass through to the finals. Woodson and Washington-Lee flank these two teams.  Washington-Lee has the best chance of these two – Woodson less.  Lake Braddock is close to these two and might mix in – but I doubt they can get all the way to second.  Langley is an unknown here.

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