Women's Crew Set to Begin 30th Season as a Varsity Program

Feb. 13, 2006

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Bronco women's crew program is celebrating the 30th anniversary of women's rowing at Santa Clara University this year as it gets set to open spring competition early next month. The first event for the Broncos will be the Cal State Sacramento Dual on Saturday, Mar. 4 at Sacramento's Lake Natoma. The Broncos look to close the gap and avenge the loss from last year.

The Broncos have been preparing for this historical season all winter and are determined to have their hard work pay off in some key races this year.

"The winter is a very tough and grueling time of the year. It's cold, rainy, and down right miserable a lot of the mornings out on the water," said head women's coach Carlo Facchino. "The team has showed a lot of character in the past month by working hard and staying disciplined in the tough conditions."

Just one day after the event in Sacramento, Santa Clara will participate in the Davis Invitational held at the Port of Sacramento. In late March, the Broncos will make appearances at the WCC Challenge in Sacramento and the Stanford Lightweight Dual at the Redwood City Lagoon. The team will then hit the road, traveling to the annual San Diego Crew Classic, a well-known national event held in Mission Bay. In late April, the team will also send boats to the Stanford Invitational in Redwood City, the WCC Championships in Sacramento and the Western Intercollegiate Championships, also in Sacramento. To conclude the season, the team will travel to Philadelphia, Penn. to participate in the annual Dad Vail Regatta on the Schuylkill River. The event is the largest collegiate regatta in the United States, with over 100 colleges and universities from the U.S. and Canada participating.

Highlighting the season, however, is a home regatta scheduled for April 8 at Lexington Reservoir. The event marks the first time in over five years that Santa Clara has hosted a regatta, adding a certain amount of excitement to the race.

"I'm excited to give fans, friends and family the chance to watch us race on our home course," noted Facchino.

The Broncos return a number of experienced rowers to the program from last season. As a matter of fact, the team has more strong rowers than varsity spots available, as 14 rowers will compete for eight spots in the varsity boat.

"The competition is going to be tough for those spots and it will be interesting to see who rises up to the challenge," said Facchino. "Right now all the seats are up for grabs."

A couple of Bronco rowers have stood out of the pack, however. Juniors Katie Fahrer and Tracy Flecky along with sophomores Natasha Lindstrom and Ashley Tomberlin have led their teammates through tough winter training.

"Rowing is a power and finesse sport," said Facchino. "These girls have really been putting the hammer down on rowing machines. I'm looking for them to not only push their teammates but also be one of the main driving forces in the boat."

Additionally, sophomore Laila Correa looks to be a strong candidate for the varsity stroke this season.

"On a day to day basis she is by far one of the most consistent rowers on the team," commented Facchino. "It's a tough job being the stroke but so far she's been the most aggressive on the water and I like how the boat looks when she is setting the pace."

The Broncos look to build on the success of a successful 2005 spring season. Last year, the women collected top-three finishes in a number of competitive events, including a third place finish at the Davis Invitational and a third place finish at the Blue Herron Regatta.

After months of preparation, the rowers are excited for what lies ahead of them this spring. Furthermore, their coach is confident that his team has done the work necessary to be successful.

"Everyone is starting to mesh together and row as one," says Facchino.

The Broncos are ready to get this notable season underway.