RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. – Santa Clara men's rowing had a strong showing at the WIRA Championships over the weekend at Lake Natoma. The Broncos were able to come away with wins with four boats and two other third place finishes.
The Novice 8 won its heat and won the grand final beating a very good Orange Coast boat.
"This was a great win and shows the depth of our freshmen class," Santa Clara head coach Jay Farwell said. "We had a number of these guys race in the 2nd Varsity 8 event and the Novice 8 event. We always ask a lot of the freshmen class this time of year and this class did an amazing job on Sunday."
The 2nd Novice 8 also picked up a victory. The boat was filled a number of walk-ons who had never rowed before arriving at Santa Clara.
"This was a great win for this group," Farwell said. "I am looking forward to these guys continuing to get better over the next few weeks."
The Varsity Lightweight 4 had a strong showing as well.
"All the guys in this boat raced in multiple events as well and I know this win in the Lightweight 4 was a special one for this group," Farwell said. "They had a terrific final and found a way to get to the line first."
The Novice 4 came in third in the grand final but Farwell was still pleased with the races.
For the first time in program history, the 2nd Varsity 8 boat won the grand final but was disqualified for failing to weigh in before the race.
"That was an awesome effort by the guys in that boat," Farwell said. "It was a total dogfight with UCSB and we clipped at the finish line. Despite the disqualification, I am really proud of this boat and the effort on race day."
After winnings its heat on Saturday, the Varsity 8 boat took third in the grand final.
"It was a disappointing result for the Varsity 8 and a real wake up call," Farwell said. "We had some early success this year but this is the time of year that counts. We have less than two weeks to prepare for Western Sprints which is the qualifier for the IRA National Championship Regatta."
Despite the tough outcome for the Varsity 8, Farwell was pleased with the weekend.
"Overall this was a very good WIRAs for our team," Farwell said. "We got a lot of guys a number of high quality races. We have a number of things to improve on over the next two weeks and Western Sprints is always our focus for the year. Despite a sub-par performance in the Varsity 8, we will be ready to see UCSD, USD, Gonzaga, and Oklahoma City University."
The Broncos are off for a week before returning to Lake Natoma for the Western Sprints May 13.
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