Rowing leads the pack

Falcons take home victory in Windermere Cup Regatta and prepare for GNAC Championship

Sabrina Jiles, Staff Reporter

Women’s Rowing crosses the finish line on Saturday morning. (Jacky Chen)

With the stress of having a new coach, and dealing with practice and competition restrictions, Seattle Pacific University women’s rowing has been battle tested this year. But the team is not letting the events that happened in the past affect their future.

“The biggest challenge for the season was COVID, like every other team, we were trying to practice and compete despite COVID getting in the way of things and it caused us to not be able to practice in boats until January but it has been a blessing to row so far,” said freshman rower Summer Frank about the issues caused by COVID-19 and how it impacted the beginning of the season.

The Falcons faced off against University of Washington and Seattle University at the Windermere Cup Regatta in Seattle on Saturday. The race was between the UW second team and the SPU first team. UW initially got an early lead of the line at the start of the race, but the lead did not last long.

The Falcon Rowing first team beat the UW second team at the Windermere Cup Regatta. (Jacky Chen)

The Falcons powered through the race and gained the lead, rowing past UW and holding the lead all the way to the finish line. As the race continued, the Falcons continued to gain a large lead against UW, leading by as many as two boat lengths.

The Falcons finished the 2,000 meter race with a time of 7:02:504 and took first place. UW finished in second place with a time of 7:10:911. Seattle University was scheduled to participate in the race, however did not compete.

SPU senior rower Tamyra Clark-Hoogstrate associates the success of the team with their competitive nature.

“The key to the success of our team this year was how close everyone was in their athletic capability. We’ve been fighting for seats all year between boats and having everyone be within a split or two of each other has made our team super fast and super competitive,” Clark- Hoogstrate said.

The Falcons have been adjusting the seat changes and lineup for the past few meets. In rowing, there are eight seat positions, with the seat closest to the stern being the stroke, who gets the team in rhythm. The person in seat one is sitting in the bow seat, closest to the forward of the boat.

The Falcons continue to hold onto second place in the NCAA Division II nationally with the varsity eight crew. When they go to the championships next week, the Falcons are likely to face more difficult and challenging opponents and are preparing for the competition.

“We have definitely ramped up our training protocol. We are focusing more on faster pieces and 2Ks right now. We have also focused a lot on lineup changes to see who vibes well in a boat together to get the fastest possible lineup for nationals and GNAC,” Clark- Hoogstrate said.

The team is preparing to compete in the GNAC championship on May 15, at 11 a.m. at Vancouver Lake.