The College of Charleston women's sailing team won the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Women's National Championship for the second time in five years, by a convincing 25-point margin over 2008 winner Boston College. The Cougars, with 84 points, bested the Eagles, who had 109 points after 20 races.
Shannon Heausler (Tampa, Fla.) and Allie Blecher (Fullerton, Calif.) earned ICSA Women's All-American honors with Blecher taking home the Quantum Women's Sailor of the Year Award. It was the first time a College of Charleston sailor had won the award since Alana O'Reilly earned the honor in 2006. The award, given to the top collegiate women's sailor in the country, was announced at a banquet Friday night.
Charleston, which last won the title in 2006, finished second last year, getting edged by Yale by just nine points.
Wind conditions allowed for only two races to be sailed Friday, but a dominant performance by Blecher and Alyssa Aitken in the A-Division on Thursday gave the Cougars a sizeable lead they would not relinquish. Their finishes of 1-2-2-1-1-2-1-4-2-6, for a low score of 22 kept the Cougars on top of the standings.
Heausler and Becky Bestoso (Erie, Pa.) sailed in B-Division for the Cougars, which were able to complete two races today. Charleston posted finishes of 6-2-3-2-3-2-9-10-10-15 to total a 62. The team placed fifth, just six points out of third.
The ICSA/APS Team Race National Championship, which the Cougars will compete in, kicks off Saturday, May 29 and runs to May 31.
Cougars Allie Blecher and Alyssa Aitken talk about the Championship win.
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1 - Charleston Cougars, 22-62=84
2 - Boston College Eagles, 50-59=109
3 - Old Dominion Monarchs, 78-53=131
4 - Tufts Jumbos, 75-56=131
5 - Brown Bears, 104-44=148
6 - Eckerd Tritons, 74-88=162
7 - Harvard Crimson, 97-66=163
8 - St. Mary's Seahawks, 83-85=168
9 - Hobart & William Sm Statesmen, 107-72=179
10 - Georgetown Hoyas, 88-92=180
11 - Connecticut College Camels, 98-97=195
12 - Southern Cal Trojans, 93-110=203
13 - Stanford Cardinal, 113-92=205
14 - Wisconsin Badgers, 108-121=229
15 - Texas A&M Galveston Aggies, 110-130=240
16 - Washington Huskies, 121-166=287
17 - Michigan Wolverines, 139-152=291
18 - Texas Longhorns, 151-165=316