Falcons fly and flounder

Saturday’s regatta was a success for the Falcon crew men’s novice four and women’s varsity pair, as both won their races at the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Championships on Lake Stevens.

The men’s novice four finished eight seconds ahead of Western Washington University in the final 300 meters, with a time of 7:29.2, despite their collisions with not one but three buoys. Puget Sound and Willamette took third and fourth place.

In their first race of the year, the women’s varsity pair edged out Western Washington, but this time in a very tight race, beating them by just one second to win with a time of 8:51.3.

The women’s novice eight took second place in their race with a time of 7:50.3, behind Western Washington, whose time was 7:20.9. Humboldt State placed third with a time of 7:51.6.

The women’s varsity eight had a disappointing race, as they were hit by the Humboldt State Lumberjacks’ boat just after the start of the race, and found it very difficult to recover. Humboldt State was penalized after the race, and a dead heat between the teams resulted.

“This kind of occurrence is very disruptive, especially if the crew must stop even momentarily as ours did. It is also considered by the rules of rowing as interference, so we protested the outcome and the officials awarded us a dead heat rather than disqualify Humboldt. Nevertheless, it was a bitter way to finish,” coach Keith Jefferson said.

Both teams placed sixth with a time of 7:37.6, while Lewis and Clark won the race with a time of 6:56.7. They were followed by Puget Sound with 7:01.4 and Western Washington in third place just two seconds behind.

Rough water from wind may have been to blame for the men’s varsity four placing fourth in their race. Their time was 7:16.6.

“Personally, I am disappointed with my race, the men’s varsity four. I am disappointed because I know we have more potential than we showed on Saturday. As a team, I am satisfied with our performance, yet I am positive that we can do much better, and we hope to next weekend at WIRA’s in Sacramento,” men’s captain Jeremy Bryant, a junior, said.

Western Washington took first place in the men’s varsity four with a time of 6:57.9, followed by Puget Sound and Lewis and Clark.

“From my perspective the regatta went OK, and had both positive and negative aspects. It started with a delay of over an hour which didn’t get things going well as we were in the first race,” Jefferson said.

Up next for the Falcons is the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) regatta, held on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif.

“As for the next race, it is our western regional championship, with a much larger field (27 teams), including several strong Division I crews for the men so they have their work cut out for them. Yet it is a much nicer course down near Sacramento which should hopefully provide a more positive outcome,” Jefferson said.

The women’s eight has only seven other competitors in their category, most of whom are at a commensurate level with SPU’s program. Only two SPU crews are racing: the men’s varsity four and the women’s varsity eight with heats on Saturday and finals on Sunday, Jefferson said.

WIRA is a western regional organization that includes about 28 rowing programs at all division levels representing colleges and universities in four western states. WIRA includes almost all non Pac-10 institutions with rowing programs in the west. The WIRA championships are in late April or early May.

The team will be returning to their home city on May 6 for Opening Day at the Montlake Cut. Directions can be found online at http://www.spu.edu/depts/crew.

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Title: Falcons fly and flounder | Author: Andrea Weide | Section: Sports | Published Date: 2006-04-26 | Internal ID: 5017