GNAC In Front After Day 1 At NCAA Rowing Championships
WWU's varsity 8+ won its preliminary heat, earning a spot in Saturday's grand finals.
WWU's varsity 8+ won its preliminary heat, earning a spot in Saturday's grand finals.

Friday, May 31, 2024
by Evan O'Kelly, Assistant Commissioner For Communications

BETHEL, Ohio – After the preliminary heats at the 2024 NCAA Division II Women’s Rowing Championships on Friday at Harsha Lake, Great Northwest Athletic Conference teams emerged atop the opening regatta results.

Cal Poly Humboldt put forth a big first step towards defending its 2023 NCAA Championships national title, claiming automatic berths into Saturday’s grand finals in both the varsity 8+ and varsity 4+ races. Central Oklahoma will also be competing in both grand finals races on Saturday, winning both the varsity 8+ repechage and the varsity 4+ repechage to secure its spot.

Western Washington cruised to a win in the varsity 8+ preliminary heat, locking up its spot in the grand finals on Saturday. Seattle Pacific meanwhile won the preliminary varsity 4+ race to punch its ticket to Saturday’s grand finals.

Western Washington, the 2024 GNAC champion and favorites entering the event, cruised to a first-place finish in the first heat of the varsity 8+ on Friday to earn a spot in Saturday’s grand finals. Led by GNAC co-Coxswain of the Year Janisa Cook, the unit posted a time of 7:13.280 to finish nearly three seconds ahead of second-place Mercyhurst in the heat. WWU’s boat included GNAC Rower of the Year Mia Marie Knipe, as well as Emma Clark, Maddie Kidd, Sarah Plemons, Taylor Wall, Alexis Clark, Kate Baring and Reed Chesnek.

Reigning national champion Cal Poly Humboldt finished first in the second heat of the varsity 8+, picking up the second automatic spot in the grand finals. Led by coxswain Sonja Scollon, the Lumberjacks clocked a time of 7:15.857 to narrowly edge second-place Embry-Riddle in 7:16.365. Cal Poly Humboldt’s boat was comprised of rowers Leah Dunn, Dana Foley, Lucianna Voss, Emily Marsolais, Elizabeth Walters, Kealey Scott, Gwen Sutton and Kylie Mosley.

Seattle Pacific cruised to victory in the opening heat of the varsity 4+ race, posting a time of 8:19.887. The 2024 GNAC Championships winners of the varsity 4+ race were led by co-Coxswain of the Year Aleksia Haugen, who piloted her crew to a comfortable 6.74-second victory to advance to Saturday’s grand finals. SPU’s boat also featured Anna Gatmaytan, Isabella Lisenby, Megan Rouse and Hannah Miller.

The Lumberjacks took care of business in the varsity 4+ preliminary round as well, winning the second heat to lock up a spot in the grand finals on Saturday. Like the Falcons, CPH completed a comfortable victory in 8:37.845, with a healthy margin of 7.382 seconds separating it from second-place Western Washington. The Lumberjacks’ varsity 4+ boat featured coxswain Emily Daniels and rowers Gabriella Griffin, Marie-Claire Desplancke, Emry Yount and Sydney Schwankl.

Western Washington placed second in the varsity 4+ opening round, finishing with a time of 8:45.227 on Friday morning. The Vikings’ boat was led by coxswain Malea Moy, who was joined by rowers Sarah Ernst, Octavia Smith, Paige Donner and Linnea Olix. The Vikings followed with a third-place finish in the varsity 4+ repechage, clocking a time of 8:13.922 to earn a spot in Saturday’s petite finals.

Seattle Pacific was also in the opening heat of the varsity 8+ race, finishing with a time of 7:32.143 for third place. Lucy Sandahl was the coxswain, leading a boat comprised of all-conference pick Natalie Korolenko as well as Megan Popielak, Ixchel Watson, Emmerson Spencer, Emma Jones, Audrey Rekedal, Anna Boatman and Amelia Pape. The Falcons went on to finish fourth in repechage with a time of 7:16.417, and will compete in Saturday’s petite final.

Central Oklahoma took third place in the second heat of the varsity 8+ race, finishing with a time of 7:31.115. The Bronchos’ boat, led by coxswain Emily Overholt, featured Lauren Clark, Carlota Martinez, Raphaela Sanchez, Faith Brooks, Anya Landrowski, Victoria Petschnig, Samantha Hutchings and Rachel Harris. The Bronchos also finished second in the opening heat of the varsity 4+ race, following SPU with a time of 8:26.631. Coxswain Sydney Large was joined by rowers Hope Brooks, Sinead Quirke, Isabel Brown and Danielle Holle.