By Gary Brown
This year’s Divisions I, II and III Women’s Rowing Championships will be held at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis rather than at Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Ga., as previously scheduled.
The NCAA Divisions I, II and III Women’s Rowing Committees agreed to make the change after concerns about hotel accommodations and lake access were raised in light of an expanded Division I field that was approved for the 2013 championship. An NCAA championships administrative committee approved the change on Tuesday.
Clemson University had been slated to host the championships at Lake Lanier but reconsidered to ensure the best student-athlete experience. The University of Notre Dame will host the championships at Eagle Creek in conjunction with the Indiana Sports Corporation.
Eagle Creek was the venue in 2002 and 2003 when Divisions I, II and III conducted their first separate championships. The rowing championship had been a National Collegiate event (all divisions eligible for a single championship) from its inception in 1997 to 2001. Lake Lanier hosted the National Collegiate championships in 1998 and 2001.
Eagle Creek also has successfully hosted the Big Ten Rowing Championships the past two years and will host again this year.
The field in Division I will expand from 16 to 22 teams this year. The growth will accommodate more conferences that have earned automatic-qualification status to the championship.