SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Men's rowing took part in one of the biggest events of the season, the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championship at Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif. on April 26-27. The men competed in four events: varsity 4, novice 8, novice lightweight 4 and pair without coxswain, bringing home a silver and bronze medal over the weekend.
"Overall, WIRAs was a great weekend for the team," head coach Jay Farwell said. "Our program is in rebuilding mode and to have collected a silver and bronze medal at this regatta certainly suggests that we are heading in the right direction."
Conor Moakley - Stroke
Katie McAuliffe - Coxswain
The Varsity 4 boat competed in the third event of the weekend Saturday morning, outracing seven other crews to win its heat with a time of 6:54.4. In Sunday's grand final, the Broncos took home a silver medal with a second place time of 6:45.3, finishing less than three seconds behind first place Loyola Marymount.
Farwell: "It was a bittersweet result for the five seniors in the boat; it was their last WIRAs and they were set on winning the gold medal. Despite coming up short, I get the impression that the seniors won't soon forget this race. From my perspective, I hope it fuels their fire to further push themselves in an effort to excel at the upcoming Western Sprints."
Wetherley was named to the Second Team All-WIRA for his performance in the Varsity 4 event.
Farwell: "This was truly a well-deserved recognition for Russell. He is the captain of the team and has led by example through the duration of his post. I am really proud of Russell and his achievement. He embodies those qualities that we are looking for: humility, work ethic, commitment and teamwork."
Drew Del Toro - Coxswain
After advancing from Saturday's heat, the Novice 8 put in a very good performance coming away with the bronze medal behind UC Santa Barbara and Orange Coast College with a time of 6:17.8 in Sunday's grand final.
Farwell: "The Novice 8 was a highly anticipated event for our team. We have a really solid group of freshmen and were looking forward to see how they would match up against the other novice WIRA teams. These guys have made incredible strides in this sport over the course of this year. Only three of them had prior rowing experience so the rest of the group has picked up the technical side of things in a fairly short period of time. I know the guys were disappointed with their finish position but medaling in the Novice 8 event is certainly a tribute to their hard work. For this group, it will be the last time they row the Novice 8 as many of these guys will be moving into the Varsity 8 and Junior Varsity 8 for the upcoming Western Sprints."
Pair Without Coxswain
Keeley and Timken came in second place during Saturday's heat with a time of 8:15.0 — just 0.1 second out of first — and recorded a sixth-place finish in Sunday's grand final.
Farwell: "The pair is one of, if not, the most difficult boats to row. Mickey and Eric did a great job in the heats on Saturday to qualify for the grand final. Regardless of their finish, both of them did a great job managing the course and competing in an event they had little, if any, experience in. Both Mickey and Eric will be working toward establishing a seat in the Varsity 8 for the Western Sprints."
Novice Lightweight 4
Drew Del Toro - Coxswain
Novice Lightweight 4 was the first Santa Clara boat to race on Sunday, taking a fifth-place finish in a final-only event with a time of 7:37.7.
Farwell: "This group of guys have been rowing pretty regularly together and it had been more than a month since their last race. While the boat did not perform to the anticipated level, they did cross the line in fifth place."
The team next competes in the Western Sprints May 17, with the goal of qualifying for the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships.
Farwell: "We will be working really hard over the next three weeks to gain additional boat speed for the upcoming Western Sprints. It will be a very competitive environment and we will see who rises to the challenge. All of these guys have put forth a tremendous effort thus far and seem ready to welcome the challenge that awaits them."