March 31 - With four tournaments across as many states this weekend automatically qualifying up to six teams for three of four divisions at the Collegiate Rugby Championship, the 48-team women’s field headed to D.C. next month is beginning to take shape.
At the Fool’s Gold 7s in Boise, Idaho, the champion is headed for the Premier Cup and the runner-up to Division I Club. Host Boise State and Montana State look to be the frontrunners.
Two tickets to the Premier Cup will be punched Saturday at the Big Ten Championship in West Lafayette, Indiana. Reigning 15s national champion Michigan looms large, but the Iowa Hawkeyes are nipping at their heels, and don’t count out host Purdue or in-state rival Notre Dame. The Wolverines already have a bid to the CRC in hand, and if they win at Purdue Saturday, the remaining bids would fall to the second- and third-place teams.
While there are no Division II qualifiers this weekend, there will be three next Saturday in Pennsylvania, Texas and California.
In Small College, McKendree University is hosting the Mid-America Conference Championship in Lebanon, Illinois Saturday, featuring Pitt State (KS) and Missouri Science & Technology. The winner will advance to the 12-team field in D.C.
They’ll be joined by the champion of Upstate New York, crowned at Ithaca Saturday, featuring Brockport, Clarkson, Cortland, Geneseo, Ithaca, Niagara, Paul Smith’s, Plattsburgh, Potsdam, St. Bonaventure, St. Lawrence, and the University of Rochester.