RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. – (from GU sports information) The Gonzaga University women's rowing squad closed out the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championships winning the Novice 8+ for the fourth time in five years and claiming the Junior Varsity 8+ victory for the fourth time in six years. The Bulldogs, rowing on Lake Natoma right outside of Sacramento, also placed third in the Varsity 8+ and fourth in the Varsity 4+ Sunday.
The Zag Novice 8+, who won their heat race by seven seconds Saturday, earned the win and gold medal by five seconds Sunday. Gonzaga finished the 2,000 meter course in 7:19.9, followed by UC Santa Barbara at 7:24.4. Rounding out the top three was San Diego State University at 7:26.3.
"The Novice 8+ rowed a solid race," stated head coach Melissa Flint. "This is the second-straight year they won this race and I am extremely proud of them."
The GU Novice 8+ boat consisted of Katie Gandolfo, Christy Mentele, Christine Powers, Grace Ditzler, Tayler Drake, Abby Barr, Taylor Thompson, Rachel Wright, and Sarah Milburn.
The Junior Varsity 8+ boat had another commanding victory on Sunday, winning its race by seven seconds. The Zags crossed the finish line at 6:34.6, well ahead of second place finisher the University of San Diego, who had a time of 6:41.2. Third place went to UC Davis at 6:42.9.
"It was an extremely well rowed race for the Junior Varsity," commented Flint. "I am very happy with their performance."
The Junior Varsity 8+ has now won gold at the WIRA's three-straight years and four out of the last six seasons.
The Zag JV8+ was comprised of Natalie Wolfrom, Lauren Miller, Alexa Bostwick, Paula Welly, Hannah Winters, Therese Yrani, Rachel Schlosser, Sophie Bluhm and Lana Bowie.
The marquee Varsity 8+ race was another tight race for the Bulldogs. Gonzaga, who lost to the University of San Diego by .2 seconds at the West Coast Conference Championships Friday, battled the Toreros for second place on Sunday, falling into third by just .3 seconds this time. Sacramento State University won gold with a finish of 6:59.3. USD followed in second at 6:59.0, with Gonzaga just behind at 6:59.3.
"It was another tough battle for us today," said Flint. "San Diego came out strong again and we battled all the way down the course. It was a tough finish, got third by just a nanosecond."
The Varsity 8+ boat had Emily Wilson, Chelsea Quilling, Alissa Stempson, Liz Moore, Teddi McGuire, Elise Perkins, Sam Cekovic, Chelsie Eddings and Sami Koppinger.
The Varsity 4+ was the first to row on Sunday and placed fourth in the final. The Zags finished with a time of 7:50.0, just behind Sacramento State who placed third at 7:49.4. San Diego won the race in a time of 7:42.8.
The Varsity 4+ boat members were Nicky Talkington, Maryssa Thompson, Jamie Hemenway, Olivia Miller and Courtney Norris.
Cekovic, Moore and Stempson all earned All-WIRA first team accolades and Welly was named to the All-WIRA second team.
Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships – Day Two
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Lake Natoma (Rancho Cordova, Calif.)
Weather: Sunny, 70s. Very harsh sidewinds. Gusty and choppy water.
Varsity 4+ Grand Final
1. San Diego, 7:42.8
2. UC Davis, 7:47.0
3. Sacramento State, 7:49.4
4. Gonzaga, 7:50.0 (4) .6 good race for four.
5. San Diego State, 7:52.1
6. Santa Clara, 8:29.8
7. Loyola Marymount, 8:35.7
Novice 8+ Grand Final
1. Gonzaga, 7:19.9
2. UC Santa Barbara, 7:24.4
3. San Diego State, 7:26.3
4. Sacramento State, 7:33.8
5. UC Davis, 7:37.3
6. San Diego, 7:53.0
Junior Varsity 8+ Grand Final
1. Gonzaga, 6:34.6
2. San Diego, 6:41.2
3. UC Davis, 6:42.9
4. Sacramento, 6:43.7
5. Puget Sound, 6:47.6
6. San Diego State, 6:49.3
7. Loyola Marymount, 6:53.9
Varsity 8+ Grand Final
1. Sacramento State, 6:56.5
2. San Diego, 6:59.0
3. Gonzaga, 6:59.3
4. UC Davis, 7:05.3
5. San Diego State, 7:12.7
6. Puget Sound, 7:28.5