Western opens season with solid performance at Daffodil Regatta

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM Megan Northey
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM
Megan Northey
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM

March 27, 2010

TACOMA, Wash. - Five-time defending NCAA Division II national champion and preseason No.1-ranked Western Washington University opened its season with a solid performance, winning four of the five women's races it competed in Saturday at the Daffodil Regatta on American Lake.

The Vikings, rated No.1 in the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Poll, won the varsity eight, second varsity eight, novice eight and second varsity four runs, while placing second in the varsity four.

"Everybody rowed pretty solid," said Western coach John Fuchs. "There was nothing really flashy about it."

Western's varsity eight completed the 2,000-meter course with a winning time of 6:57.01, just .15 seconds ahead of runner-up and host Puget Sound. Willamette was third in 7:06.92, followed by Seattle Pacific (7:14.29), Pacific Lutheran (7:43.40), and Lewis & Clark (7:51.40).

"We didn't even know who had won until after talking with the officials," Fuchs said. "It was really, really close."

"Everybody (competition) is coming along. The days of trashing everybody are over. The quality of racing continues to get better here in the northwest for sure."

Puget Sound placed fifth nationally last spring at the NCAA III Championships, and Seattle Pacific's varsity eight finished third at the 2009 NCAA II nationals.

It was the 13th straight victory for the Vikings' top boat, which won all 10 of its races last year. Western's eight has not lost to a non-Division I school since 2004.

Seated in that shell were coxswain Samantha Oberholzer (Jr., Bellevue), stroke Megan Northey (So., Brier/King's), No.7 Katie Woolsey (So., North Bend/Mount Si), No.6 Heather Kelly (Sr., Bird Creek, AK/South Anchorage), No.5 Jean Piette (So., Vancouver/Columbia River), No.4 Siri Carlson (Jr., Tacoma/Franklin Pierce), No.3 stroke Casey Mapes (Jr., Anchorage, AK/Service), No.2 Kate Berni (So., Silverdale/Central Kitsap), and bow Madeleine Eckmann (Sr., Winthrop/Liberty Bell).

Western took the second varsity eight in 7:10.78 and another Vikings' boat was third in 7:27.55. Puget Sound was second (7:20.81) and Willamette fourth (7:31.32).

Western's winning time in the novice eight was 7:08.43, over 10 seconds better than second-place Puget Sound, and the Vikings took the second varsity four run in 7:46.48, well ahead of runner-up Seattle Pacific (8:20.39).

Willamette won the varsity four race in 7:44.16, with the Vikings second at 7:57.16.

"We put our fours in the water for 20 minutes on Friday for the first time since last May," said Fuchs. "So for them to do that well was very nice."

Western next competes at the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference Invitational on Saturday, Apr. 3, at Vancouver Lake near Vancouver, Wash.

The Vikings have won the last five NCAA II national team championships and made nine consecutive trips to nationals.

Results:

Varsity 8 - 1. Western Washington 6:57.01, 2. Puget Sound 6:57.16, 3. Willamette 7:06.92, 4. Seattle Pacific 7:14.29, 5. Pacific Lutheran 7:43.40, 6. Lewis & Clark 7:51.40

2nd Varsity 8 - 1. Western Washington-A 7:10.78, 2. Puget Sound 7:20.81, 3. Western Washington-B 7:27.55, 4. Willamette 7:31.32

Varsity 4 - 1. Willamette 7:44.16, 2. Western Washington 7:57.16, 3. Puget Sound 8:15.59, 4. Pacific Lutheran 8:21.16, 5. Seattle U. 8:46.20, 6. Seattle Pacific 9:00.41

Novice 8 - 1. Western Washington 7:08.43, 2. Puget Sound-A 7:18.78, 3. Lewis & Clark 7:41.21, 4. Willamette 7:54.68, 5. Washington State 7:55.66, 6. Puget Sound-B 8:03.62, 7. Pacific Lutheran 8:16.41

2nd Varsity 4 - 1. Western Washington 7:46.48, 2. Seattle Pacific 8:20.39, 3. Puget Sound 8:32.55, 4. Willamette 8:48.57

WWU Lineups:

Varsity 8 - coxswain Samantha Oberholzer (Jr., Bellevue), stroke Megan Northey (So., Brier/King's), No.7 Katie Woolsey (So., North Bend/Mount Si), No.6 Heather Kelly (Sr., Bird Creek, AK/South Anchorage), No.5 Jean Piette (So., Vancouver/Columbia River), No.4 Siri Carlson (Jr., Tacoma/Franklin Pierce), No.3 stroke Casey Mapes (Jr., Anchorage, AK/Service), No.2 Kate Berni (So., Silverdale/Central Kitsap), bow Madeleine Eckmann (Sr., Winthrop/Liberty Bell)

2nd Varsity 8 - coxswain Kelsey McFarland (Jr., Fife), stroke Carson MacPherson-Krutsky (So., Seattle/Garfield), No.7 Kelsey Baker (So., Gig Harbor), No.6 Stephanie Bluhm (Fr., Auburn/Mountainview), No.5 Emily Kunz (Fr., Port Townsend), No.4 Nolan Winger (So., Bremerton/Central Kitsap), No.3 Jordan Uecker (So., Bellingham/Sehome), No.2 Miranda Steward (Sr., Kenmore/Inglemoor), bow Hannah Gallagher (So., Seattle/Garfield)

3rd Varsity 8 - coxswain Alix Crilly (So., Wenatchee), stroke Mariana Cains (Jr., Walla Walla), No.7 Alyssa Dewey (So., Bend, OR/Mountain View), No.6 Sami Kamps (Fr., Irvine, CA/Woodbridge), No.5 Lauren Fleming (So., Bainbridge Island), No.4 Mallory Whittaker (Fr., Spokane/Lewis & Clark), No.3 Marya Nash (Jr., North Bend/Mount Si), No.2 Sarah Lundli (Fr., Shoreline/Shorewood), bow Jessa Loudon (Fr., Ferndale)

Novice 8 - coxswain Jessa Loudon (Fr., Ferndale), stroke Stephanie Bluhm (Fr., Auburn/Mountainview), No.7 Emily Kunz (Fr., Port Townsend), No.6 Sami Kamps (Fr., Irvine, CA/Woodbridge), No.5 Lauren Fleming (So., Bainbridge Island), No.4 Mallory Whittaker (Fr., Spokane/Lewis & Clark), No.3 Marya Nash (Jr., North Bend/Mount Si), No.2 Anna-Marie Johnson (Fr., Spokane/Gonzaga Prep), bow Alix Crilly (So., Wenatchee)

Varsity 4 - coxswain Samantha Oberholzer (Jr., Bellevue), stroke Heather Kelly (Sr., Bird Creek, AK/South Anchorage), No.3 Jean Piette (So., Vancouver/Columbia River), No.2 Siri Carlson (Jr., Tacoma/Franklin Pierce), bow Casey Mapes (Jr., Anchorage, AK/Service)

2nd Varsity 4 - coxswain Kelsey McFarland (Jr., Fife), stroke Carson MacPherson-Krutsky (So., Seattle/Garfield), No.3 Jordan Uecker (So., Bellingham/Sehome), No.2 Nolan Winger (So., Bremerton/Central Kitsap), bow Hannah Gallagher (So., Seattle/Garfield)