April 27, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - "Championship Month" continues for the West Coast Conference and Santa Clara University as the Bronco women's crew heads up to Lake Natoma in Sacramento to battle four conference rivals in the WCC Rowing Championships Friday afternoon.
Along with Santa Clara, the other WCC schools set to take part in Friday's action are Loyola Marymount, Gonzaga, San Diego and Saint Mary's. The Zags will be taking to the water in pursuit of their tenth-straight conference rowing title.
Following the WCC Championships on Friday, the Bronco crews will remain at Lake Natoma to compete in the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships on Saturday and Sunday, April 29-30. Races at the WIRAs will get started at 8 a.m. with the women's novice four and the Varsity Eight races are scheduled to begin at approximately 10 a.m. Saturday.
Paced by a group that has come on strong and even upset Saint Mary's at the Stanford Lightweight Invitational earlier in the season, the SCU women will be looking to improve on last year's fourth-place finish.
"The WCC Championships is unique as it is a true test of your team's overall strength," said women's crew head coach Carlo Facchino. "Each school must race their top 23 athletes which equals three different boats, therefore testing the depth of your rowing program. We've gained a lot of momentum in the past couple of weeks and have really come together as a team. Last weekend we squeezed out a victory over WCC rival Saint Mary's and it has bolstered our team's confidence going into the Championships."
Races begin Friday afternoon with the varsity four getting started at 12 noon. The second Varsity Eight will follow at 12:20 p.m. and the Varsity Eight will round things out with a 12:40 p.m. race.
"Last year we tied for fourth place with Saint Mary's," Facchino added. "This year we are hoping our depth can propel us ahead of the Gaels in the overall standings. It would be a huge team accomplishment and big victory for the program."