For the first time since 2008, the Coast Guard Academy women's crew team is heading to the NCAA Division III Championship.
Coast Guard's varsity 8 received an at-large bid on Monday.
The championships will be held May 25-27 at Lake Mercer in West Windsor, N.J., with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and Rider serving as hosts.
"This has been our goal for four years," coach Jen Meuse said in a released statement. "I am so proud that we kept working toward the goal of an NCAA bid.
"Each year they picked up where they left off the year before and our theme this year has been one step at a time. I couldn't be happier and now we have the opportunity to race against the best the crews on the national stage."
The other national finalists are Bates, Marietta, Trinity, NEWMAC champion Wellesley, Williams and William Smith.
The varsity eight consists of coxswain Julianna Harvin, seniors Sarah Jane Otey, Holly Madden, Tiffany Zehnle, Erin Nolan and Kelli Normoyle along with juniors Jess Ward and Catherine Schmitz of Stonington and freshman Brynna Cooke of Salem.
The Bears, ranked fifth nationally, return to the NCAA Championships for the sixth time. They earned berths in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008.
In 2008, the Bears made history when they became the first Division III at-large eight to make reach the grand final and finished sixth.
- Day Staff Reports