Walker, Clark Claim Gold at the 2011 WIRA Championships

Walker, Clark Claim Gold at the 2011 WIRA Championships

2011 WIRA's Complete Results

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. - After strong showing at the West Coast Conference Women's Rowing Championships on Friday, Santa Clara's Novice 8 boat advanced into the Petite Final and Deanna Clark and Jill Walker claimed the Gold Medal in the Women's Pair at the 2011 Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships over the weekend.

SCU had three crews entered in the 2011 WIRA Championships: a Novice 8, Varsity Pair, and Lightweight Four.  The Novice 8 raced on Saturday, the Varsity Pair and Lightweight 4 raced on Sunday.

Similar to Friday's weather conditions for the WCC's, strong crosswinds continued Saturday. The Novice eight had an outstanding race in their heat and placed third out of six, which advanced them to the Petite Final. 

"They fought all the way down the course with OCC for second, but lost by 2.4 seconds in the last 500 meters," said Santa Clara head coach John Wojtkiewicz. "Because they had such a solid race, they came off the water very happy and feeling better about their potential.  Their time was the eighth-fastest overall out of all the heats." 
In the petite final, they raced to a fourth place finish (10th overall).

SCU Novice 8:
cox: Brittany Meyer '14
stroke: Samantha Meredith '14
7: Melissa Giorgi '14
6: Rachel Donohoe '14
5: Estelle Richardson '14
4: Cora Lemar '14
3: Hilary Stewart '14
2: Melanie Lara '14
Bow: Kayla Edquilane '14

Women's Novice 8

Heat 3
USD 7:39.0
OCC 7:55.8
SCU 7:58.2
ORE 8:06.3
WSU 8:08.6
SEA 8:45.0

Women's Novice 8 Petite (Final)

HSU 7:51.4
ORE 7:53.1
UCSD 7:56.0
SCU 8:00.7
UCD 8:06.1
ASU 8:18.0

On Sunday the weather improved dramatically.  The sun came out, the wind died down and the water flattened out. The Broncos Women's Pair was racing in Lane 4 against San Diego, Portland, Oregon, Pacifica, Humboldt State, and UC Irvine.

"As the weather improved, so did our competitive prospects with the Varsity Pair," said Wojtkiewicz. "They jumped out to an early lead (in the Women's Pair), and continued to lead through most of the race.  As they moved into the last 500, San Diego made a hard push and was able to pull into contact with the leading Broncos. They started their sprint to hold them off and it was an intense final 100 meters as both crews raced hard to cross the line first.  In the last 5 strokes San Diego steered out of their lane and couldn't quite catch Santa Clara, and the Broncos finished with the gold medal and the Cup by 1.6 seconds."

The varsity pair was Deanna Clark '12 and Jill Walker '11 (C) ... Walker earned All-WCC honors on Friday.

Women's Pair (Final)
SCU 8:18.6
USD 8:20.2
UOP 8:21.1
ORE 8:25.1
PAC 8:38.0
HSU 8:48.3
UCI 8:48.7

"On Sunday, the Lightweight 4 also had a great race," said Wojtkiewicz. "Lining up against Seattle University, Cal, UCSD and Long Beach State, in a five boat final only, the Broncos struggled at the start with a small crab which put them in fourth at the 500 meter mark. Steadily the Broncos edged back on the top three boats.  By the 1000-meter mark Santa Clara moved into second and was pushing Seattle University hard for first. Going into the last 500 meters, no less than a deck separated the two crews as they both sprinted for the finish line.  With both crews rating at upwards of 46 strokes a minute, Santa Clara continued to close the gap, but ran out of race course with Seattle University still 3/10 of a second ahead. An incredible race to watch."

The Lightweight 4 lineup:
Cox: Caitlin Cutting '11
Stroke: Blair Mitchell '14
Three: Laurel Schuster '11 (C)
Two: Vanessa Delgado '12
Bow: Adrienne Lohe '13

Women's Lightweight Four (Final)
SEA 8:08.1
SCU 8:08.4
CAL 8:15.9
UCSD 8:26.0
LBS 8:28.4