March 7, 2013

March 7, 2013

IRVING, TEXAS – Conference-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky announced today that the women’s rowing programs at Sacramento State and San Diego State will join Conference USA as affiliate members, beginning with the 2013-14 season.

Sacramento State rowing has been a member of the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) since 1995, and the WIRA Championship has doubled as the program’s conference championship event. However, WIRA is not recognized by the NCAA as a conference, and does not garner any kind of automatic qualifier into NCAA postseason competition. The Sacramento State rowing program has enjoyed success over the years, combining to win three WIRA team titles over the last seven years, as well as varsity eight crowns in 2006 and 2010. Over the last nine years under head coach Mike Connors, the Hornets’ top boat (V8) has combined for a dual-meet record of 72-30.

The San Diego State rowing program was established in 1997 and is under the direction of first-year head coach Alison Abrams, who is in her eighth year overall with the program. The team trains at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center on 6.25 square miles of water. The Aztecs are also current WIRA members and will compete at the 2013 Championship event April 27-28.

Next season, Conference USA will have two full-time members that sponsor women’s rowing in Old Dominion and Tulsa. Seven additional programs serve as affiliate members in the league: Alabama, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. The addition of Sacramento State and San Diego State will give the sport 11 members in 2013-14.

The 2013 Conference USA Women’s Rowing Championship will be held May 18 at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The winner of this fourth annual event will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Rowing Championship.

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