May 3, 2001

Crew races past opponents at WIRAs

May 3, 2001

By DAVID DUNCH
Ass't Sports Editor, The Santa Clara

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The men's crew team won three events - novice lightweight four, novice lightweight eight and novice four - at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Championships (WIRA) held last weekend at Lake Namatoma in Sacramento.

"Overall, this has been one of the most successful weekends of racing in a long time," Head Coach Jay Farwell said. "It's exciting that our team is made up of such young talent. If the dedication, commitment and intensity stays as high as this year, our program will take off."

The novice men's crew lightweight boat performed so well over the weekend that they were invited to compete at the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, Pa. beginning May 9.

"Ya, we're fast," Novice Head Coach Jarrod Gerhardt said.

The lightweight boat was so fast that they won the final race by ten seconds, an incredible margin in crew events.

"The lightweight four was a good race," Gerhardt said. "We hadn't practiced with that boat and to win by that much is a really good thing. They have essentially beaten everyone on this coast and that is why they are going back East."

Junior captain Sean Eirich, who was selected second-team all-WIRA, is also hopeful for the future.

"It's great to see the novice win and get excited about crew," Eirich said. "If these guys stay around we will dominate at the varsity level. The more competition we have on our team, the faster our boats will go."

Gerhardt believes that next year's teams will be even more successful.

"We expect next year to have a nationally ranked lightweight men's eight," Gerhardt said. "And we expect the heavyweight men's eight to be an extremely fast boat."

Aside from the winning boats, the varsity four came in third, just 10 seconds off the time of first-place Sacramento State, and the varsity lightweight four finished fourth, 15 seconds behind Seattle Pacific for first and only three seconds behind third-place UC San Diego.

While the lightweight team will be in Philadelphia, the heavyweights will next participate in the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships. The Broncos will take on perennial powers Stanford, Cal and Washington.