Comeback Complete: Lumberbacks Win Division II Title
Cal Poly Humboldt pulled ahead in the final 1,000 meters to win its first Division II championship since 2014. Photo courtesy of
Cal Poly Humboldt pulled ahead in the final 1,000 meters to win its first Division II championship since 2014. Photo courtesy of

Saturday, May 27, 2023

PENNSAUKEN, N.J. – Two years ago, Cal Poly Humboldt was unable to row in any regatta but the GNAC Championships thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. And even that race was cut short due to boat issues.

The Lumberjacks went from full stop to unstoppable on Saturday, winning both the varsity 4+ and varsity 8+ grand finals to win the NCAA Division II women’s rowing championship on Saturday at the Camden County Boathouse.

Cal Poly Humboldt outdueled GNAC rival Central Oklahoma in both races to win the program’s first Division II championship since 2014. It was the program’s first appearance in the championships since 2015.

The Lumberjacks pulled ahead to take a six-second victory in the varsity 4+ grand final, winning in a time of 8:06.762. The varsity 8+ pulled it all together over the second half of the race, going away over the final 250 meters to win in a time of 7:15.143.

Cal Poly Humboldt finished with 30 points, marking the third time in the last four regattas that the winning team has finished with a perfect score. Central Oklahoma finished with 25 points. The GNAC swept the top four places with Seattle Pacific placing third with 18 points and Western Washington placing fourth with 14 points.

The varsity 4+ grand final was an all-GNAC affair with Western Washington and Central Oklahoma pushing out to the early lead. The Bronchos held a two-second lead at 500 meters. Cal Poly Humboldt increased its stroke rate over the next 500 meters top pull event with WWU while the Bronchos extended its lead to a boat length at the midway point.

The Lumberjacks overtook the Vikings in the next 500 meters and then made its move over the Bronchos, surging ahead over the final 250 meters to win the varsity 4+ title by four seconds. Cal Poly Humboldt won in a time of 8:06.72 with Central Oklahoma second in 8:12.350. Western Washington placed third in 8:20.610 and Seattle Pacific was fourth in 8:23.180.

The varsity 8+ finals were delayed due to a false state in the Division III varsity 8+ grand final but once the petite final started, Western Washington made sure it would prevail. The Vikings bolted out to a four-second lead over the first 500 meters and had an open-water lead over Jefferson at 750 meters. The WWU advantage was nine seconds at 1,000 meters and 11 seconds at 1,500 meters.

The grand final saw the GNAC’s three teams jump out front early. Central Oklahoma held a slight advantage at 500 meters while Cal Poly Humboldt edged ahead at 1,000 meters. At both junctures, the three GNAC teams were separated by no more than two seconds. From that point, however, the Lumberjacks surged to go ahead by nearly a boat length over the Bronchos with 500 meters left.

at Camden County Boathouse, Pennsauken, N.J.
Team Scores:
Cal Poly Humboldt 30, Central Oklahoma 25, Seattle Pacific 18, Western Washington 14, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 11, Jefferson 7.
Varsity 4+ Petite Final: 1, Jefferson, 8:30.227. 2, Embry-Riddle (Fla.), 8:33.663.
Varsity 4+ Grand Final: 1, Cal Poly Humboldt, 8:06.762. 2, Central Oklahoma, 8:12.350. 3, Western Washington, 8:20.610. 4, Seattle Pacific, 8:23.180.
Varsity 8+ Petite Final: 1, Western Washington, 7:29.235. 2, Jefferson, 7:40.339.
Varsity 8+ Grand Final: 1, Cal Poly Humboldt, 7:15.143. 2, Central Oklahoma, 7:19.871. 3, Seattle Pacific, 7:21.967. 4, Embry-Riddle (Fla.), 7:30.265.

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