April 30, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men and women's crews will race this weekend in a pair of regattas to be held at Lake Natoma near Sacramento, Calif. The Bronco men and women will both race in the West Coast Conference Championships on Friday before rowing in the WIRA Championships on Saturday and Sunday.
SCU's women's crew is looking to capture a conference title for the first time in program history. Standing in the way is the six-time defending WCC Champions Gonzaga University who along with the Broncos will scull for the title against fellow WCC schools Loyola Marymount, Saint Mary's, and San Diego. This is the seventh consecutive year that the WCC women's rowing championships have been held at Lake Natoma.
The Varsity Four race will take place at noon, followed by the Second Varsity Eight race at 12:20pm and the Varsity Eight at 12:40pm. A championship awards ceremony will begin at approx. 1:15pm.
The women have steadily increased their times this Spring for head coach Stephanie Shepherd and should provide a good challenge for the conference title. Following Friday's races they will remain at Lake Natoma on Saturday and Sunday to compete in the WIRA Championships.
Although the men's WCC Championship races will not give the winners an official conference title, bragging rights are on the line and head coach Jay Farwell says his team is ready to go.
"This could be a weekend in which SCU Crew makes history," said Farwell. "I know each one of these guys wants to leave their mark on this program."
Santa Clara's men's Varsity Eight is comprised of several veterans, many of which are entering their final championship as a SCU oarsman. Senior captians Wiley Erikson, Chris Tschinkel, Jeremy Schrader, and Andrew Thompson are all four year oars and enter into the last month of their collegiate rowing career. The rest of the boat is filled with three juniors, Jon Schlunt, Juan Perez and coxswain Nick Bickes, sophomore Paul Kunk and first year rower Thomas Martin.
Farwell and his team will also remain at Lake Natoma over the weekend for the WIRA Championships where they will see all of the WCC schools again on Saturday and Sunday. Powerhouse UC Davis is the crew to catch and the Broncos are very eager to line up agains the Aggies.
Following this weekend events, the men's Varsity 8 will travel to the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia on March 9 and 10 to compete in the largest collegiate regatta in the country. Both the men and women will be back in action on the weekend of May 17 and 18 as they participate in the PCRC's on Saturday and the Pac-10 Championships on Sunday.