SPU Crews Compete at NCAA Championships For the first time in school history, Seattle Pacific will compete for the team title when the NCAA Womenís Rowing Championships are contested, Friday through Sunday, May 28-30.
Photo Courtesy: www.spufalcons.com - SPU is the nation's fourth-ranked varsity eight crew.
For the first time in school history, Seattle Pacific will compete for the team title when the NCAA Womenís Rowing Championships are contested, Friday through Sunday, May 28-30 on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif. The Falcons will participate at the NCAA regatta for the third time, but both previous appearances were made by at-large varsity eight entries that did not factor into the team standings. Six rowers and sophomore coxswain Annie Mulder return from last yearís SPU crew that won the NCAA varsity eight bronze medal. The Falcons won the NCAAís petite final in 2007, placing fifth overall.
The NCAA Rowing Championships be viewed live on the internet via a webcast at: NCAA.com. A live results stream is also available and can be accessed at: www.jamcotimes.com
The Division II championship field consists of four teams and two additional at-large entries in the varsity eight races. Joining the Falcons in the team competition are five-time defending champion Western Washington, Florida Tech and Philadelphia University. Along with a varsity eight, those four schools also have a varsity four crew to vie for the team title, which is determined by combining the results from the two events. Competition begins Friday, May 28 with heat races. Winners of each heat advance to the grand finals Sunday, May 30 while the remaining crews compete in repechage races Saturday, May 29 to complete the grand final fields.
Two SPU crews will compete at the NCAA regatta, including a four-oared boat and the fourth-ranked varsity eight. Defending varsity eight champion Western Washington is No. 1 and Philadelphia No. 5. The two at-large varsity eights are No. 2 Mercyhurst and No. 3 Barry. SPUís top crew returns to Lake Natoma, where on May 2 the Falcons captured the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) varsity eight championship. The NCAA Division II championships are held in conjunction with the Division I and III competitions. Separate champions will be declared in each division.
All Hands on Deck
The Falcons would make conservationists proud. They use all of their resources. Division II teams need 12 rowers at the NCAA Championships. SPU has just 13 on its roster, including two (Mackenzie Oscar and Sarah Lanter) who walked on to the team mid-season to join fall walk-on Belle Fritsch. SPUís 15-athlete travel contingent includes 10 Falcons who started their careers as walk-ons and will be smaller than every other team as the NCAA budgets for each school to bring two spare rowers. With only one spare, there is little margin of error for the Falcons, who need everyone on the roster to be competitive ... and healthy. Walk-ons are relied upon to contribute immediately. SPU has the smallest roster of any of the Division II teams at the NCAA regatta. Defending champion Western Washington has nearly twice as many rowers (25) to choose from.
Did You Know?
Senior stroke Katie Degner canít swim and is