Second V8 floats to the top

Konner Hancock

All hands were on deck as all four of the Seattle Pacific University rowing teams glided through the first heat of races and into the finals.

The Falcons were fully immersed in the competition last weekend, they dove head first into the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships.

On Saturday, April 27, the Falcons got first-place heat results in the varsity eight, and second-place results for their second varsity eight team, novice four team and their varsity four team.

In the finals, on Sunday, April 28, the Falcons collectively did not sail as well, but the team’s second varsity eight squad put together a gold winning performance.

The second varsity eight team completed the 2000-meter course in 7:02.84 minutes. The team’s time was almost five seconds better than the second place University of California San Diego, which was the largest gap between any consecutive placing teams.

Head coach Andy Derek stressed the value of the time the rowing team acquired between their previous meet and the WIRA Championships. “We have spent the last three weekends proving our speed and gaining some race experience,” said Derek. “Now we need to get back to training and work on improving our speed, not just proving where we are at. Good teams always get faster late in the season and we need to be one of them.”

The second varsity eight team started to find their lead right around the first quarter of the race, where the team cruised past Pacific Lutheran to take second-place spot.

The rowing team practices before sunrise 6 days a week. Stella Willoughby | Assistant Coach of Rowing

The following quarter of the meet was focused on grabbing the No. 1 spot from the Humboldt State boat. Right before reaching the 1000m mark, the Falcons found themselves hull to hull with Humboldt State. SPU kept stroking their way closer and closer to the front of the pack, eventually earning them the No. 1 position which the team held for the entire rest of the meet.

The Falcons completed the 2000m course in 7-minutes, 2.84-seconds. UC San Diego rallied from fourth place halfway through to place second in 7:07.58. Humboldt ended up third (7:08.67), followed by PLU (7:09.61), Western Washington (7:12.04) and Puget Sound (7:14.03).

The rowers who made up the second varsity eight team were: Cecilia Krause at cox, Madison Simmons at stroke, Gracie Hoidal at seven, Danielle Johnson at six, Tamyra Clark-Hoogstrate at five, Anna White at four, Haley Thompson at three, Katy Beth Smith at two and finally Avalon Tarbet-Mendoza at bow.

Derek said he was incredibly proud of his team and their efforts they have put forth.
The rest of the teams in the finals did not fare as well as the second varsity eight. The first varsity eight team placed fifth out of six, the varsity four placed fourth out of six and finally the novice four placed third out of seven.

The team has rough waters ahead as they are competing at UW and then traveling to Oklahoma for another meet which is all leading up to the NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships.

The Falcons have high hopes for earning a spot in the NCAA championships, especially since they have not made it to the championship since 2011.