Henie, WWU row team denied NCAA title in photo finish

June 1, 2014

Christine Henie RowingChugiak’s Christine Henie and the Western Washington University women’s rowing team today lost out on a national championship by the slimmest of margins.

Just two points separated the top three teams, the closest finish in the history of the NCAA D2 Championships.

Humboldt State [Calif.] won the title with 16 points, one more than defending champion Nova Southeastern [Fla.] and two more than Western Washington.

Henie, a senior team captain, sits No. 3 on the WWU’s eight-person boat. Her team just needed to finish second or better in the grand finale to secure the team’s national title.

Things looked good early as the Vikings surged to the lead after the first half of the race. But then Humboldt passed them and then Nova nipped them at the very end by a coin flip.

“We thought we were second on the big screen,” WWU coach John Fuchs told the school’s website. “To be that close, a photo finish, from being national champs is pretty crazy. I’m really proud of them. They were upset, but at the same time they knew that there was just nothing else they could have done. It was their best race of the year.”

Henie finished her college career with a NCAA title in 2011, two runner-up finishes in 2014 and 2012 and a third-place finish in 2013.

She’s just as impressive out of the water, carrying a 3.62 GPA as an art major and a two-time member of the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association National Scholar Athletes list.