The Falcon | Volume 83, Issue 53
Published 5/29/13 | Log In
Freshman Emerson Morris and sophomore Matt Edel compete in the men’s novice-four race. The squad placed second Sunday.
Photo credit: KIM PATRICK/The Falcon.
Falcons to face schools from South, East regions for first time this year
By JON HEDDLES, Sports Writer
Published: May 2, 2012
Mistakes are inevitable in any sport. In crew, results are often defined by mistakes, as errors in rhythm or synchronization can completely throw off a boat’s time.
It speaks to a group of rowers’ ability, though, when they are able to overcome a mishap and still earn a satisfactory result.
The Seattle Pacific men’s novice-four squad showed resiliency by earning second place despite a rowing error in the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships in Gold River, Calif. on Sunday.
“The race caused a bit of mixed emotions,” head coach Keith Jefferson said. “You’re always glad when a group does well and gets in the medals. Obviously though, we cost ourselves a few seconds in the final 250 [meters] by ‘catching the crab,’” he said, referring to a phrase that means an oar has been stuck in the water for too long.
The novice team set a new best time in Sunday’s race, blowing out of the water their original benchmark heading into the weekend.
The Falcon four (consisting of freshmen Emerson Morris and Daniel Mudge, sophomore Matt Edel and junior Thomas Taylor) first eclipsed the mark by 16 seconds in Saturday’s semifinal heat, finishing the 2,000-meter course on Lake Natoma in 7:00.5. They then shed 11 more seconds of their time in Sunday’s grand final heat, coming in at 6:48.8.
“It’s such a significant improvement,” Jefferson said. “Also, the fact that they beat St. Mary’s is a really strong statement. When you can make mistakes like that and still finish strong, it really shows a lot about a crew’s potential.”
SPU’s novice four finished less than five seconds behind winner Orange Coast College and easily outpaced third place Western Washington despite the incident toward the end.
The race continued the group’s streak of first or second place finishes that they have maintained all season.
The other main crew representing SPU over the weekend was the women’s varsity eight, which came in fourth in Sunday’s final with a time of 7:06.8.
The boat, made up of freshman Katarina Kreuger, sophomores Kindra Fish, Baylee O’Camb, Emily Scrabeck and Rachel Murphy, junior Samantha Storz and seniors Annie Mulder, Jacky Neumiller and Katy Stine, was competing against the No. 1- and No. 2-ranked boats in Division II: Western Washington and Humboldt State.
For the NCAA Division II Championships, the top-four ranked women’s varsity-eight crews will qualify while two others will earn at-large bids. The Falcon eight aim to do well in the upcoming Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia in hopes of solidifying one of those two bids.
“We’re actually in the game, but it’s tough because we’re always against the clock,” Jefferson said. “It’s always hard to compare times because conditions are so different from Eastern programs. [A time of] 7:06 this weekend really bodes well for us.
“We need to go out to Philadelphia, row cleanly, and then we’ll be okay. We need to get close to seven minutes even or under if we can. We just need to keep doing those little refinements, get a little more confident, and we’ll be in good shape.”
SPU’s women’s varsity four also competed over the weekend, finishing in second place in the petite final Sunday. The Falcons came in behind Santa Barbara at 8:12.
“Our four is a bit of long shot, and that comes just from being in the West,” Jefferson said. “It’s more likely that Humboldt and Western Washington will pick up that one at-large bid. If we do super well though, we could get a little more of a look from the selection committee.”
SPU’s crews will travel to Philadelphia the weekend of May 11 to row in the 74th annual Dad Vail Regatta. They will go up against Eastern and Southern powerhouse programs on Schuylkill River.
“The men have got a gigantic field of over 40 crews, while the women only have two heats of five,” Jefferson said. “Also, the women’s field is only Division II, while the men’s features all levels. They just have to row how they do and work hard on conditioning beforehand. … It’s always tough, as your peak can only be sustained for so long, and it’ll be tough to eke out those last few seconds, but that’s what we [have] to do in order to succeed.”