Gonzaga takes West Coast Conference crown with Varsity 8 triumph
GOLD RIVER, Calif. -- After winning both the second Varsity 8 and Varsity 8 races, Gonzaga were crowned the 2013 West Coast Conference Rowing Champions on a bright and sunny morning at Sacramento State Aquatics Center on Lake Natoma. The Bulldogs received the Conference's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.
In the final point standings, Gonzaga finished with a total of 41 points. Last year's champion San Diego won the Varsity 4 race to start off the morning and finished with 37 total points for second place. Loyola Marymount, Portland and Saint Mary's (Calif.) each finished with 23 points for a three-way tie for third. Creighton (15 points) and Santa Clara (six points) rounded out the competition.
All three races were tightly contested. San Diego's Varsity 4 bested Gonzaga by 1.9 seconds to take a one-point lead with two races to go. In the second Varsity 8 race, the Bulldogs topped the competition, crossing the finish line 10 seconds ahead of the field with a time of 6:51.6 to bring the overall lead to 20-19 against the Toreros.
The championship title came down to the last race of the day and the Gonzaga Varsity 8 crew outlasted San Diego by a mere 1.3 seconds to take back the conference crown and earn the Bulldogs their 13th WCC title in program history.
Gonzaga's Glenn Putyrae was named the WCC Coach of the Year, while San Diego's Kaitlin Soper was named WCC Coxswain of the Year by the conference's head coaches. San Diego's Michelle Campbell was named WCC Newcomer of the Year and Madison Keaty earned Gonzaga's consecutive WCC Rower of the Year award.