Vikings dominate DII competition
VANCOUVER, Wash. --- Top-ranked Western Washington University had solid performances in winning both the Division II eight and four races Saturday at the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference Invitational Regatta held on Vancouver Lake.
“The first regional ranking comes out Tuesday, and after having a good showing last week, our goal was to have another one today and we accomplished that,” said Western coach John Fuchs. “We also wanted to polish some things with our race plan and we did that.”
The Vikings, the six-time defending national champions, won the varsity eight event by nearly two boat lengths. They completed the 2,000-meter distance in 7:25.04 with Seattle Pacific finishing second (7:33.23) and Humboldt State third (7:34.83).
Seattle Pacific is ranked third nationally while Humboldt State is sixth.
“We got off to a really good start and rowed a solid race,” Fuchs said of the varsity eight. “There was a head wind the whole way, that’s why the times were not so great.
“But eight seconds isn’t a lot of time. Seattle Pacific and Humboldt State have some really good crews. They’re not that far off, which makes it really exciting for the West Region.”
Seated in Western’s winning eight were coxswain Samantha Oberholzer, stroke Casey Mapes , No. 7 Carson MacPherson-Krutsky, No. 6 Jean Piette, No. 5 Siri Carlson, No. 4 Megan Northey, No. 3 Stephanie Bluhm, No. 2 Katie Woolsey, and bow Kate Berni.
In the fours competition, Western finished 1-2 with the “A” boat crossing the line first at 8:24.44, followed by the “B” boat in 8:43.72. Two Humboldt State shells were third (8:52.24) and fourth (8:55.19), with Seattle Pacific fifth at 8:56.12.
The Vikings’ first-place four included coxswain Kelsey McFarland, stroke Kelsey Baker, No. 3 Miranda Steward, No. 2 Alyssa Dewey and bow Lauren Fleming.
Western’s novice eight placed fourth (7:12.9) among five boats in its race Saturday at the Husky Open held on Seattle’s Montlake Cut course. Host Washington placed first (6:50.3) and second (7:00.1), followed by a Washington State lightweight shell (7:09.8).