April 29, 2010

Stage is Set for 2010 WCC Rowing Championships

As released by the West Coast Conference

SAN BRUNO, Calif. - The West Coast Conference women's rowing championships take place this Friday at Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, CA. The annual event began in 1997 and Gonzaga has dominated the event, winning 12 of the 13 titles. Loyola Marymount is the only other school to capture the title, winning the championship in 2006.

The West Coast Conference added women's rowing to its list of championships in 1997, with five of the league's eight member schools, Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Saint Mary's, San Diego, and Santa Clara, fielding teams. The event has been held at Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, California, since its inception.

The Zags reclaimed their crown in 2007 after Loyola Marymount made history in 2006, taking the WCC title to end Gonzaga's nine-year reign at the top of the conference. Although the two teams finished even in the points standings, the Lions took first in the I-Eight race at Lake Natoma to claim the championship over the Bulldogs.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Race Times
I-Four Race - 9:20 AM
II-Eight Race - 9:40 AM
I-Eight Race - 10:00 AM

Point Distribution
I-Four
1. 5 points
2. 4 points
3. 3 points
4. 2 points
5. 1 point

II-Eight
1. 10 points
2. 8 points
3. 6 points
4. 4 points
5. 2 points

I-Eight
1. 15 points
2. 12 points
3. 9 points
4. 6 points
5. 3 points

Directions to Lake Natoma
From Highway 80:
Heading West from Auburn or East from Sacramento or San Francisco take the Sierra College Blvd. exit (in the City of Rocklin) and turn South on Sierra College Blvd. In about 6 miles Sierra College Blvd. becomes Hazel Ave., continue South through the town of Orangevale and finally across the American River. Your first left after the river is the Aquatic Center. Turn left onto Gold County Blvd./Nimbus Rd. Follow the road into the Aquatic Center parking lot.

From Highway 50:
Heading West from Lake Tahoe or East from Sacramento or San Francisco take the Hazel Ave. (Exit 21). Go North onto Hazel Ave. Proceed approximately .5 to Gold County Blvd./Nimbus Rd. (the second stop light) turn right. Follow the road into the Aquatic Center parking lot.

2009 WCC ROWING CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP
The Gonzaga University women's rowing program continued to dominate the West Coast Conference Championship, winning it for the 12th time in 13 years Friday at Lake Natoma in Sacramento, Calif. The Bulldogs, who had swept all three races in the previous three championships, had to win two races and place second in another to earn enough points to claim the victory over the University of San Diego. The Zags finished with 29 points, while second place Toreros accumulated 25. Rounding out the championships was Loyola Marymount coming in third with 14 points; Saint Mary's placing fourth with 13 points and Santa Clara earning eight points for fifth place.

The Zags posted a first place finish in the I-Eight (Varsity 8+) for the third time in the last four years with a time of 6:37.6, finishing three seconds ahead of San Diego, who crossed the finish line at 6:40.5. Saint Mary's took third for the second-straight season with a time of 6:46.6, followed by Loyola Marymount in fourth at 6:58.3 and Santa Clara in fifth at 7:06.6.

In the II-Eight (Second Varsity 8+), Gonzaga took first for the 10th-straight year with a finish of 6:54.0. The Bulldogs were the only school to finish the II-Eight with a sub-7 minute time. San Diego again came in second with a 7:03.5 mark. Loyola Marymount was third (7:11.5), Saint Mary's took fourth (7:16.0) and Santa Clara was last (7:19.7).

Despite placing second, the Zag I-Four raced a great race. The Bulldogs crossed the finish line six seconds behind first place finisher San Diego with a time of 7:46.6. The Toreros won the opening race of the championship with a time of 7:40.0.

WCC TEAM NOTES
Santa Clara University
- The Santa Clara Broncos are looking to improve upon last year's fifth place finish.

- Santa Clara was picked fifth in the 2010 WCC Rowing Head Coaches poll with eight points. Senior Gabby Alexander was named to the preseason all-conference team.

- The Santa Clara University women's crew team and first-year head coach Anne Kennedy opened the 2010 season on the water of Lake Natoma in Sacramento at the Sacramento Invitational on March 13. SCU's Varsity 4 "A" boat finished second in the Varsity 4s.

- The Broncos best finish at the WCC Championships came back in 2007 and in 1999 when they tied for second place.

Gonzaga University
- Since the WCC Women's Rowing Championship was established in 1997, Gonzaga has claimed the conference crown 12 out of 13 years.

- The Zags, who swept all three races in the previous three championships, had to win two races and place second in another last year to earn enough points to claim the victory over the University of San Diego.

- Gonzaga was picked as the favorite in the 2010 WCC Preseason Coaches poll and landed three rowers on the preseason all-conference team in seniors Liz Moore, Alissa Stempson, and Samantha Cekovic.

- Gonzaga is coming off of a strong showing in its competition versus in-state rivals Washington State and Western Washington in which the Zags won two races and placed second in two others.

Loyola Marymount University
- Loyola Marymount is the only other school to capture the WCC Championship, winning the event in 2006.

- The Lions are coming off a third place finish at last year's championships and have placed in the top three for the past six years running.

- LMU was picked third in the 2010 WCC Preseason Coaches poll, while junior Michelle Herrerias was the only Lion among the eight rowers selected to the preseason all-conference team.

- The Lions rowed to wins in the varsity eight, second varsity eight, and novice four on the final day of the NorCal/SoCal Challenge in the final tune-up before the West Coast Conference Championships.

Saint Mary's College
- The Gaels come into the competition off a fourth place finish at last year's championships.

- Saint Mary's was tabbed fourth in this year's WCC Preseason Coaches poll and landed junior Jordan Bonadio on the preseason all-conference team.

- The Gaels turned in a strong showing at the NorCal/SoCal Showdown, wrapping up the weekend with the varsity-8, and second varsity-8 boat taking silver just behind WCC rival LMU.

- Saint Mary's best ever finish at the WCC Championships came in 2007 when the Gaels tied for second place.

University of San Diego
- San Diego has finished in the runner-up position at the WCC Championships the past two seasons.

- The Toreros have been the next most consistent team behind Gonzaga, finishing second in nine of the 13 championships.

- Powered by its win in the I-Four race, USD tallied 25 points in last year's championship to finish just four points behind Gonzaga. The 25 points ties the 2000 season for the most points the Toreros have ever tallied at the WCC Championships.

- The Torero's enter the WCC Championships after a strong showing in a three team duel with No. 12 UCLA and No. 16 Oregon State. USD's Varsity 8 had a solid race jumping ahead of OSU in the first 1000 meters and maintaining contact with UCLA. After a closely contested battle, the race was decided at the finish line when the Toreros crossed the line 1.1 seconds behind OSU and 3.9 seconds behind UCLA with a time of 6:33.85.