Vikings Are D2 Rowing National Champions!

Saturday, June 1, 2024
by Evan O'Kelly, Assistant Commissioner For Communications

BETHEL, Ohio – For the ninth time in program history Western Washington is the Division II women’s rowing national champion, as the Vikings took home the trophy on Saturday at Harsha Lake.

The Vikings edged runner-up Mercyhurst by a single point, using a convincing victory in the varsity 8+ grand final to collect 18 of their 22 points. Central Oklahoma finished in third place with 20 points, Cal Poly Humboldt was fourth with 19 points and Seattle Pacific took fifth place with 15 points to represent the GNAC.


2024 NCAA Division II Women's Rowing Championships - Final Team Scores
Place Team Eights Fours Total
1 Western Washington 18 4 22
2 Mercyhurst 15 6 21
3 Central Oklahoma 12 8 20
4 Cal Poly Humboldt 9 10 19
5 Seattle Pacific 3 12 15
6 Embry-Riddle 6 2 8


Western Washington’s victory was fueled by its performance in the varsity 8+, as the Vikings clocked a time of 6:57.610 to fend off second-place Mercyhurst by 3.383 seconds. WWU’s boat was led by GNAC co-Coxswain of the Year Janisa Cook, and featured a lineup including GNAC Rower of the Year Mia Marie Knipe, Emma Clark, Maddie Kidd, Sarah Plemons, Taylor Wall, Alexis Clark, Kate Baring and Reed Chesnek.

The Vikings gleaned four more points from their finish in the varsity 4+ petite final, clocking a time of 8:03.570. Malea Moy was WWU’s coxswain, and the rowers were Sarah Ernst, Octavia Smith, Paige Donner and Linnea Olix.

Seattle Pacific won the varsity 4+ grand final, clocking a time of 7:46.395 to hold off second-place Cal Poly Humboldt by 4.015 seconds. The Falcons were led by GNAC co=Coxswain of the Year Aleksia Haugen, along with rowers Anna Gatmaytan, Isabella Lisenby, Megan Rouse and Hannah Miller. Seattle Pacific finished second in the varsity 8+ petite final, with a time of 7:12.538. The Falcons were led by coxswain Lucy Sandahl, and the rowing lineup was Natalie Korolenko, Megan Popielak, Ixchel Watson, Emmerson Spencer, Emma Jones, Audrey Rekedal, Anna Boatman and Amelia Pape.

The Lumberjacks finished as the runner-up in the varsity 4+ grand final, with a time of 7:50.410. Emily Daniels was the coxswain for CPH, and the rowers included Gabrielle Griffin, Marie-Claire Desplancke, Emry Yount and Sydney Schwankl. CPH also took fourth place in the varsity 8+ final, clocking a time of 7:02.877 to bring up the rear of a field that was separated by just 5.267 total seconds. Sonja Scollon was the Lumberjacks’ coxswain, and was joined by rowers Leah Dunn, Dana Foley, Lucianna Voss, Emily Marsolis, Elizabeth Walters, Kealey Scott, Gwen Sutton and Kylie Mosley.

Central Oklahoma made it a 1-2-3 finish for the GNAC in the varsity 4+, posting a time of 7:57.469 for the bronze medal. Sydney Large was the Bronchos’ coxswain, piloting a boat that featured rowers Hope Brooks, Sinead Quirke, Isabel Brown and Danielle Holle. The Bronchos also finished third in the varsity 8+ grand final, posting a time of 7:01.721 which was just 4.111 seconds off the Vikings’ national-championship pace. UCO was led by coxswain Emily Overholt, and featured rowers Lauren Clark, Carlota Martinez, Raphaela Sanchez, Faith Brooks, Anya Landrowski, Victoria Petschnig, Samantha Hutchings and Rachel Harris.

WWU’s John Fuchs was voted as the GNAC Coach of the Year, after piloting the Vikings to their second GNAC Championships team title two weeks ago. The longtime Viking veteran has been at the helm for all nine of WWU’s national championships, which are the most since the Division II Women’s Rowing Championships were first held in 2002. Saturday marked WWU’s first national title since 2017, which followed a string of seven consecutive national titles from 2005-2011.