Lumberjacks Waste Little Time Getting Back On The Water
Cal Poly Humboldt's opening weekend included a win in the Varsity 8+ race at the Davis Invite on Sunday.
Cal Poly Humboldt's opening weekend included a win in the Varsity 8+ race at the Davis Invite on Sunday.

Friday, March 18, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. – As the weather has started to change, the GNAC’s four teams have slowly started into the second full season of conference competition.

And of the conference’s four teams, none are happier to be back on the water than Cal Poly Humboldt.

The Lumberjacks competed twice during their opening weekend of the spring championship season, faring well in both regattas against primarily Division I competition. The two events doubled the amount of times that Cal Poly Humboldt raced last year due to travel limitations in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Varsity 8+ boat fared particularly well. At the Sacramento State Invitational on Mar. 13, the Lumberjacks placed right in the middle of a five-team Division I field, taking third in a time of 7:20.4. At the Davis Invite the next day, the crew was a winner in a solid time of 7:13.3. The two races earned the Varsity 8+ selection as the GNAC Crew of the Week.

Cal Poly Humboldt also received a victory from its Novice 8+ boat at Sacramento State, covering the 2,000-meter course in 7:43. At Davis, the Varsity 4+ was a winner in a time of 7:44.7.

Defending national champion Central Oklahoma has also raced twice this spring, both in dual competitions against Division I foes on its home Oklahoma River course.

The Bronchos did not report finish times in a set of races against Tulsa on Mar. 5. The team fared well against Creighton on Mar. 12, with the Bronchos’ Varsity 4+ scoring a nine-second victory in a time of 8:12.31. They were second in both the Varsity 8+ and Novice 8+.

Seattle Pacific and Western Washington opened the spring at the PLU Invitational on Mar. 5 with both teams picking up victories. The Vikings’ Varsity 8+ was a winner in the opening session of the day, turning in a solid time of 7:01.4 that earned the crew GNAC Crew of the Week honors on Mar. 7. Western Washington earned second-place finishes in three other races.

The Falcons were winners in a pair of second varsity races. The team’s Second Varsity 4+ won in a time of 8:34.1 while the Second Varsity 8+ won in the second flight of races in the competition in a time of 8:15.3.

Conference teams will row just one more time this month. Central Oklahoma and Seattle Pacific will meet up in Oklahoma City on Saturday, Mar. 26, racing each other and Kansas on the Oklahoma River. Cal Poly Humboldt will host its only home regatta of the season that day, racing at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center along the Inner Reach of Arcata Bay.

NATIONAL RANKINGS: All four of the GNAC’s teams continue to be ranked in the Pocock/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Division II Poll. The first regular-season poll was released on Mar. 16.

Central Oklahoma received all five first-place votes to lead the poll with 200 points. Western Washington moved up two spots from a No. 6 preseason ranking to No. 5. Seattle Pacific slipped one spot from its No. 5 preseason position to No. 6. Cal Poly Humboldt continues to rank No. 8.

GNAC COACHES POLL: Central Oklahoma is the choice of conference coaches to repeat as champions, receiving all four first-place votes to lead the 2022 GNAC Women’s Rowing Preseason Coaches Poll.

Central Oklahoma won the inaugural conference title on Vancouver Lake last May, sweeping both the varsity 8+ and varsity 4+ for a perfect score of 30 points. The Bronchos repeated the feat later that month in Saratoga, Florida, sweeping both grand finals for a score of 30 points and that third straight national championship trophy.

In addition to agreeing on Central Oklahoma to defend the title, conference coaches agreed on the complete predicted order of finish in 2022. Seattle Pacific was picked second with 12 points, followed by Western Washington with eight points and Cal Poly Humboldt (formerly Humboldt State) with four points.

Seattle Pacific took second at the GNAC Championships with 25 points, placing second in both the varsity 8+ and varsity 4+ finals. The Falcons return eight rowers from last year’s team.

Western Washington was third at the 2021 GNAC Championships after having rowed a limited schedule of just two regattas prior to the conference regatta. This year, Western Washington has five regattas scheduled for the May conference championships.

Cal Poly Humboldt’s only regatta during the COVID-19 pandemic was the 2021 GNAC Championships, which ended before it started thanks to equipment issues on the team’s four-person boat. Cal Poly Humboldt competed in one regatta during the fall season and have six regattas on the schedule before this year’s conference championships.