May 1, 2002

Women's Crew Vies for Conference Title

May 1, 2002

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - West Coast Conference women's rowing teams travel to Rancho Cordova, California, this Friday, May 3 for the conference championships at Lake Natoma, beginning at noon. Gonzaga University, five-time defending WCC champions, will scull for the title against fellow WCC schools Loyola Marymount, Saint Mary's, San Diego, and Santa Clara. This season marks the sixth consecutive year that the WCC women's rowing championships have been held at Lake Natoma.

Gonzaga has been the pace-setter in the short history of WCC women's rowing, claiming all five conference championships. San Diego has finished as the runner-up to Gonzaga four times, while Santa Clara has finished second once.

In 1997 and 1998, the WCC championship consisted of a single race contested by each school's eight-woman varsity boat. Beginning in 1999, the event was expanded to include the schools' four-woman varsity and eight-woman secondary boats as well. A point-system was also introduced in 1999 to determine the top finisher through all three races. The champion is now determined by the overall place of finish in the three races (I Eight , II Eight , I Four) using a weighted point system.

The I Four race will take place at noon, followed by the II Eight race at 12:20pm and the I Eight at 12:40pm. All times are appoximate. A championship presentation ceremony will conclude the event.

Last year, 2001 saw Gonzaga defend its overall title and both of its individual race titles. Saint Mary's stepped up to win the varsity-four race, the Gaels' first victory at the WCC rowing championships. Alison Cox of San Diego became the WCC's first three-time all-conference rower in 2001, as she helped propel the Toreros to their third straight second place overall finish.