Bronchos, Jacks Sail Through To Rowing Grand Finals
The Central Oklahoma varsity 8+ was a four-second winner in its varsity 8+ preliminary heat, winning in 7:13.140 to advance to the grand final. Photo by Steve Gibbons.
The Central Oklahoma varsity 8+ was a four-second winner in its varsity 8+ preliminary heat, winning in 7:13.140 to advance to the grand final. Photo by Steve Gibbons.

Friday, May 26, 2023

PENNSAUKEN, N.J. – This fact we know for sure: A GNAC team will be named the Division II Women’s Rowing Champion. Which team will take the trophy home is not clear.

Seven of the conference’s eight crews advanced to Saturday’s grand finals after day one of the NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships at on Friday at the Camden County Boathouse.

The easiest road to the title belongs to Central Oklahoma and Cal Poly Humboldt, which won their preliminary heats in both the varsity 8+ and varsity 4+ races to advance automatically to Saturday’s grand finals. The Bronchos won its heat of the varsity 8+ in a time of 7:13.140 and claimed its varsity 4+ heat in a time of 8:13.810.

The Lumberjacks scored the victory in their varsity 8+ heat in a time of 7:25.270 and were runaway winners in their varsity 4+ heat by 21 seconds in a time of 8:04.522.

Finishing second in both of their respective sets of heats, Seattle Pacific came through the repechage to earn its place in the grand finals. The Falcons won the varsity 8+ repechage in a time of 7:15.149 and placed second in the varsity 4+ repechage in 7:17.690.

Western Washington advanced to the varsity 4+ grand final, winning the repechage in 8:01.496. The Vikings varsity 8+ will race in Saturday’s petite final, placing fourth in the repechage in 7:29.223.

In the opening heat of the varsity 8+ preliminaries, Cal Poly Humboldt jumped out to the lead early and never looked back. The Lumberjacks had a three-fourths length lead at 500 meters and a five-second advantage over Western Washington at 1,000 meters. The Vikings, meanwhile, put open water between themselves and Embry-Riddle (Fla.) but proved unable to catch the efficient stroke rate of Humboldt, which won in 7:25.270. Western Washington was second in 7:42.444.

It took no time at all for Central Oklahoma and Seattle Pacific to put open water between themselves and Thomas Jefferson in the second heat. Both teams pulled ahead early and the Bronchos enjoyed nearly a length’s lead at 500 meters. The Falcons never lost contact with their GNAC rivals, though, as Central Oklahoma held a three-second lead at 1,000 meters before winning in a time of 7:13.140. The Falcons were second in 7:17.690, 35 seconds clear of Thomas Jefferson.

The lineup of the first heat of the varsity 4+ prelims mirrored the second heat of the varsity 8 and once again Central Oklahoma set the pace early, building over a length’s lead at 1,000 meters. Seattle Pacific, meanwhile, had to use a strong second half of the race to take second place over Thomas Jefferson. The Bronchos’ lead at 1,500 meters was seven seconds as they cruised to the win in a time of 8:13.810 with the Falcons second in 8:20.500.

In the second varsity 4+ heat, Western Washington and Humboldt set the pace early as both boats were 10 seconds clear of Embry-Riddle at 500 meters. While the Vikings held the lead over the first third of the race, the Lumberjacks made its move to pull four seconds ahead at 1,000 meters and extended the lead to a boat length just past the midway point. The Humboldt lead was 10 seconds at 1,500 meters as the Lumberjacks cruised to a 21-second win in a time of 8:04.522. Western Washington was second in 8:25.552.

In the varsity 8+ repechage, Seattle Pacific pulled out to the lead over the first 500 meters while Western Washington lost ground with Embry-Riddle and Jefferson over the next 500 meters, falling three seconds behind at 1,000 meters. The Falcons never pulled completely away from the Eagles and held off a challenge over the final 500 meters to win in 7:15.149. Western Washington placed fourth in 7:29.223.

The varsity 4+ repechage proved to be an all GNAC affair with the Vikings pulling out to a three-second lead after the first 500 meters and holding that lead through the midway mark. While Western Washington maintained their lead, Seattle Pacific had to hold off a charge by Jefferson on the outside lane over the second half. The two GNAC teams locked into a tight race over the final 250 meters, with the Vikings winning in 8:01.496 with the Falcons second in 8:03.672.

at Camden County Boathouse, Pennsauken, N.J.
Varsity 8+ Heat 1:
1, Cal Poly Humboldt, 7:25.270. 2, Western Washington, 7:42.444. 3, Embry-Riddle (Fla.), 7:47.746.
Varsity 8+ Heat 2: 1, Central Oklahoma, 7:13.140. 2, Seattle Pacific, 7:17.690. 3, Jefferson, 7:52.180.
Varsity 4+ Heat 1: 1, Central Oklahoma, 8:13.810. 2, Seattle Pacific, 8:20.500. 3, Jefferson, 8:30.340.
Varsity 4+ Heat 2: 1, Cal Poly Humboldt, 8:04.522. 2, Western Washington, 8:25.552. 3, Embry-Riddle (Fla.), 8:39.054.
Varsity 8+ Repechage: 1, Seattle Pacific, 7:15.149. 2, Embry-Riddle (Fla.), 7:18.119. 3, Jefferson, 7:20.843. 4, Western Washington, 7:29.223.
Varsity 4+ Repechage: 1, Western Washington, 8:01.496. 2, Seattle Pacific, 8:03.672. 3, Jefferson, 8:06.880. 4, Embry-Riddle (Fla.), 8:08.818.

Cal Poly Humboldt
Varsity 8+:
Sonja Scollon (coxswain), Molly Utez, Elizabeth Walters, Kealey Scott, Cassidy Hollenbeck, Dana Foley, Gabriella Griffin, Alyssa Paynton, Malia Seeley
Varsity 4+: Emily Daniels (coxswain), Gwen Sutton, Chloe Pieper-Wasem, Kylie Mosley, Sarah Lorenzini

Central Oklahoma
Varsity 8+:
Emily Overholt (coxswain), Lauren Clark, Kenna Chamlee, Faith Brooks, Hope Brooks, Sinead Quirke, Victoria Petschnig, Raphaela Sanchez, Keyna Swoosh
Varsity 4+: Sydney Large (coxswain), Samantha Hutchings, Danielle Holle, Audra Hempfling, Peyton Meiler

Seattle Pacific
Varsity 8+:
Moxie McCandless (coxswain), Jacinta Grandel, Natalie Korolenko, Audrey Rekedal, Kalais Samuelson, Elise Cornwell, Ixchel Watson, Macie Leach, Hannah Miller
Varsity 4+: Lucy Sandahl (coxswain), Megan Popielak, Anna Boatman, Megan Rouse, Sophie Sandahl

Western Washington
Varsity 8+:
Kylee Lovrich (coxswain), Clarice Ruhlin-Hicks, Paige Donner, Yuki Saburi, Morgan MacIntyre, Emma Clark, Taylor Wall, Lily Bjork, Sarah Ernst
Varsity 4+: Janisa Cook (coxswain), Reed Chesnek, Maddie Kidd, Jenna Buckholt, Mia Knipe