First GNAC Women's Rowing Championships Set For May
Lake Natoma, located in Gold River, California, is a hot bed for rowing on the West Coast.
Lake Natoma, located in Gold River, California, is a hot bed for rowing on the West Coast.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

PORTLAND, Ore. – As the Great Northwest Athletic Conference begins its inaugural women’s rowing season, the conference has confirmed that its first conference championship will take place at one of the top venues in the nation.

As part of an agreement with the Pacific-12 Conference, the 2020 GNAC Women’s Rowing Championships will take place on Saturday, May 16, on Lake Natoma just outside of Sacramento, California.

The championship will be part of an incredible weekend that will provide for one of the premier showcases for college rowing outside of the NCAA Championships. The GNAC Championships will be held in conjunction with conference championship regattas for the Pac-12, the West Coast Conference and the American Athletic Conference.

The GNAC Championships, which will be held at 1:45 p.m., will be comprised of varsity eight and varsity four races. Scoring will be consistent with the scoring formula used at the NCAA Championships.

“We are extremely excited that our inaugural women’s rowing championships will be contested at Lake Natoma this May,” said GNAC commissioner Dave Haglund. “In addition to conducting our event at a first-class and internationally recognized competition venue, GNAC student-athletes and coaches will be a part of a special weekend featuring multiple conference championships. We are especially appreciative of the coaches and administrators at the Pac-12 for allowing the GNAC to be included.”

Part of the Sacramento State Aquatic Center and located in the eastern Sacramento suburb of Gold River, Lake Natoma is internationally known as a world-class championship rowing venue. In addition to the championship weekend, Lake Natoma is the longtime home of the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championships and the fall Head of the American Regatta. The lake has hosted the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships four times, most recently in 2019.

Added as the conference’s 17th sport for the 2019-20 academic year, the GNAC joins the Sunshine State Conference as the only NCAA Division II conferences to sponsor women’s rowing. Conference membership in women’s rowing is comprised of full members Seattle Pacific and Western Washington and affiliate members Central Oklahoma, Humboldt State and UC San Diego.

The teams that comprise the GNAC have won 12 of 18 NCAA Division II women’s rowing national championships and finished as the national runner-up 10 times. Central Oklahoma enters the season having won the last two Division II titles.