Practice about to pay off

After four-month break, women’s rowing returns to competition

Daniel Newman, Sports Editor

On Nov. 3, Seattle Pacific University’s rowing team competed in the Head of the Lake regatta at the University of Washington, rowing over the waters of Montlake and competing for the first time in the season. This was the last official regatta that the team competed in.


Now, the competitive spring season will begin March 7, as the team travels down to Tacoma, Washington to race at the Pacific Lutheran University  Invitational. 


Still, the four-month break does not mean the team has been resting and waiting for the season to begin. They have competed in many practice races, including ones against Seattle University, Gonzaga University and a team of Seattle Pacific Alumni. They have also been training every day, some days on rowing machines in the shellhouse and others actually on the water.


All that training has the team hoping to build on the great results they have already achieved, including finishing fourth at the NCAA Division II rowing championships in 2019. 


The only bittersweet part of finishing fourth was the team that finished third, Western Washington University. The Falcons varsity eight crew finished 15 thousandths of a second behind the Vikings.


“In the moment, it was easy to be frustrated about losing to a close rival by such a small margin, but looking at the bigger picture, we were still so proud of all the hard work we had put in and how far it had taken us,” senior Julie Renne said.


The team going into this season remains largely unchanged from last season, as the Falcons only had two seniors on the team last season. The Falcons got back to good results on that first regatta of the season, with two of their three varsity crews finishing in the top-three in their races, only behind teams from the University of Washington. 


Part of the reason for the Falcons’ success is their love for their team.


“I love just about everything about the sport but my team makes me want to be a better person and is always there to support everyone,” Renne said. 


As the Falcons gear up for the PLU invitational, they are also looking ahead to the Falcon Regatta, which will take place on the canal March 14. Some of the Falcons biggest competition will be heading to Seattle, including defending champion Central Oklahoma University, as well as another top team in Western Washington University.


With a tough season ahead, the team will have to battle to repeat and best their finish from last season. 


“Overall, it’s an incredibly challenging sport, but it’s worth every bead of sweat,” Renne said.