After a solid fifth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships, UCLA was selected by the NCAA Division I Women’s Rowing Committee as one of 16 teams to compete in the national championships from May 28 to 30 at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center.

“Everybody is very excited,” coach Amy Fuller Kearney said. “We set out this year to earn a team bid and we did, so this feels really good. The team has worked so hard and we have made huge strides this year.”

The Bruins earned their spot at the NCAA finals thanks to the 22 championship points the team tallied last Sunday during Pac-10 competition. Five other Pac-10 competitors will join UCLA at nationals: Pac-10 Champion Cal as well as Stanford, USC, Washington and Washington State. The Cardinal is looking to defend its national title, while Cal looks to earn its first NCAA Championship since 2006.

For UCLA, the most stressful part of the season is over now that the team has qualified for nationals. With no expectations going into nationals, Kearney is just grateful that the team will be able to gain a little more experience.

“The important thing for us is that we get one more weekend of racing,” she said. “In some ways, there is a little pressure off of us now because we’ve already earned our spot at the NCAA racing convention.”

“However, I still know we are going to be very competitive,” she added. “In the next couple weeks we just have to keep our focus, do a last bit of preparation and be our best.”