The air was brisk. The water was freezing. But it was just another day in the office for the Seattle Pacific rowing squads.
“I thought we did excellent [on Saturday],” head coach Keith Jefferson said. “We took all three races, which always boosts your confidence.”
SPU took on and dominated Seattle University in the Raptor Cup this past weekend in its only home regatta of the year. The meet took place on the Lake Washington Ship Canal, which is where both teams practice regularly.
The Falcons were able to finish first in the men’s varsity four, lightweight four and novice four races for a clean sweep against SU. There was a fourth race between just the SPU women’s crews since SU did not have a women’s squad.
In the men’s varsity four, the SPU crew jumped to a large lead and never looked back. It finished the course in 6:42.52 while the Redhawks placed second with a time of 7:14.70. A second SPU varsity crew also competed, and it came in third at 7:22.46.
“Men’s varsity four works really well together,” sophomore varsity member Riley Curtis-Stroeder said. “They are all returning rowers, and that’s one of the few lineups that doesn’t get switched out much.”
The lightweight event was a bit closer, but the Falcons still came out on top. They finished the 2,000-meter course with a time of 7:07.20, and SU was in a close second with a time of 7:12.01.
In the final novice four race, SPU took on two Redhawk boats. The Falcons were still able to cruise to victory, coming in with a time of 7:19.55 while the other SU squads clocked in at 7:38.45 and 8:37.62.
“Since Seattle University is like our rival school, it’s always nice to beat them,” Curtis-Stroeder said. “We definitely performed well in all races against them.”
The great success last weekend was just a continuation of what SPU crew has been doing throughout its season. As a whole, the Falcons have placed first in at least one event in all three of their regattas so far.
After having an unofficial dual meet against Western Washington, Seattle Pacific started their year off against Pacific Lutheran on American Lake. The men’s varsity four was able to pull out a four-second win against the Lutes while the men’s second varsity four was also able to win their race.
The women’s varsity squads struggled more against PLU as they lost the women’s varsity eight and women’s varsity four events. But they were able to pull out a win in the women’s second varsity race with a time of 8:33.
The Falcons then traveled to Eureka, Calif., as they took on Humboldt State and Cal Maritime Academy. They won the men’s varsity four and eight events while securing second place in the novice four event.
The women came in last in the varsity eight event but secured first in the varsity four and second varsity four races. SPU won the women’s second varsity four event with a time of 7:38.14 and had Humboldt State right on their heels as they finished with a time of 7:39.31.
“We’ve gotten significantly better over the past couple of weeks,” sophomore varsity member Sarah Grace said. “As long as our varsity eight keeps improving, we’ll be in a good spot to qualify for the championships.”
There is only one regular season match left before the championships start. The Falcons will travel to Lowell, Ore., on Saturday as they try to end their excellent regular season on a high note.