SANTA CLARA, Calif. - With a strong performance at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Assosciation Championships, the Santa Clara men's rowing squad now looks to the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships.
At the WIRAs, the Varsity 8 participated in an Intercollegiate Rowing Assosciation eligible event.
There were four boats in the event: Gonzaga, UC San Diego, University of San Diego and SCU. Santa Clara finished fourth.
"It was a disappointing finish for our first boat and we have been struggling to put a consistent race piece together," said Santa Clara head coach Jay Farwell. "We have a number of seasoned guys in the boat with four seniors but there has been a disconnect come race day. I take full responsibility for the under-performance of the Varsity 8 and have to re-evaluate our training and race preparation for next season. "
The 2nd Varsity 8 struggled in their heat on Saturday with a poor start out of the starting line area.
They were able to beat UC Santa Barbara's B boat and advanced to the 2nd level final (petite final) on Sunday were they faced off against UCSB B boat again and Washington State University. The 2nd Varsity 8 won the second level final.
"This boat contains a lot of guys who will make a push for the Varsity 8 next season and there is a significant amount of talent to help propel the team to more competitive finishes in next year's races," said Farwell.
The Novice 4 event was a large event with 19 boats entered. The novice 4 had a relatively good race in their opening heat on Saturday morning placing third - but only qualified for the second level final (petite final). The petite final was held later in the afternoon on Saturday and the Novice 4 placed third in the event (or ninth overall).
The pair, two novices, who were competing at a varsity-type level did well. The two novice finished in fifth place in their heat and finishing third in the third level final.
"We have a tremendous amount of work to do in order to become competitive at the upper level of Division I rowing," said Farwell. "We are losing a number of highly committed seniors who have set the tone for the team for the last year or so and we need the underclassmen to fill those shoes and push the program to a higher level of competition. The coaching staff needs to re-evaluate its approach, development and execution of its training plan for the fall and winter. We clearly did not maintain the level of fitness and mental toughness that the successful crews were displaying at WIRAs. I know that the team will accept the challenge and continue to push to build this into a consistently competitive program."