WWU sending varsity eight and varsity four to WIRA Championships

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM Catrina Cuadra
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM
Catrina Cuadra
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM

April 23, 2014

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - The Western Washington University women's rowing team is sending two shells to compete in the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships this weekend at Lake Natoma located near Rancho Cordova, Calif.

The qualifying heats take place Saturday at the host Sacramento State Aquatic Center, with the grand finals Sunday. The Vikings will be competing in the varsity eight and varsity four events.

WWU, ranked No.2 in this week's Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/USRowing NCAA Division II Poll, will face two other DII top five rated teams at the WIRA Championships - No.4 Humboldt State and No.5 UC San Diego. Defending national champion Nova Southeastern FL is No.1 and national runner-up Barry FL is No.3.

Last year at the WIRA regatta, the Vikings had four entries go undefeated, winning all their qualifying and grand final races. The varsity eight is working on a three-year gold medal winning streak, and the varsity four has won gold two of the last three seasons.

WWU did not compete at the WIRA meet in 2010 after having all five entries reach grand finals in 2009 with the varsity eight and varsity four posting wins.

In three outings this spring, the Vikings' varsity eight has won one race and placed second in two others, both times finishing behind DI Portland. One of those losses was by .24 seconds.

In WWU's eight shell will be coxswain Maeghan Callegari (Jr., Kirkland/Lake Washington), stroke Catrina Cuadra (Sr., Lake Stevens), No.7 Regan Wessman (Sr., Kirkland/Lake Washington), No.6 Olivia Rowland (Sr., Seattle/Holy Names), No.5 Megan Marler (So., Morrison, CO/D'Evelyn), No.4 Katya Hewitt (So., Bellingham), No.3 Christine Henie (Sr., Chugiak, AK), No.2 Emily Bartlett (Fr., Broadlands, VA/Thomas Jefferson S&T), and bow Emily Little (So., Port Angeles/Peninsula CC).

WWU's varsity four has two wins and a fourth-place finish behind three DI entries this spring. In that boat will be coxswain Kate Nelson (Jr.., Moscow, ID), stroke Audra Massey (Jr., Albuquerque, NM), No.3 Jenny Chang (Fr., Sammamish/Int. School of Beijing), No.2 Cosette Still (Sr., Lake Forest Park/Blanchet), and bow Olivia Gangmark-Strickland (So., Bainbridge Island).

WWU's four will race in its qualifying heat Saturday at 8 a.m., and the eight competes at 10:10 a.m.

WWU Lineups for WIRA Championships

Varsity 8 - Coxswain Maeghan Callegari (Jr., Kirkland/Lake Washington), stroke Catrina Cuadra (Sr., Lake Stevens), No.7 Regan Wessman (Sr., Kirkland/Lake Washington), No.6 Olivia Rowland (Sr., Seattle/Holy Names), No.5 Megan Marler (So., Morrison, CO/D'Evelyn), No.4 Katya Hewitt (So., Bellingham), No.3 Christine Henie (Sr., Chugiak, AK), No.2 Emily Bartlett (Fr., Broadlands, VA/Thomas Jefferson S&T), bow Emily Little (So., Port Angeles/Peninsula CC)

Varsity 4 - Coxswain Kate Nelson (Jr.., Moscow, ID), stroke Audra Massey (Jr., Albuquerque, NM), No.3 Jenny Chang (Fr., Sammamish/Int. School of Beijing), No.2 Cosette Still (Sr., Lake Forest Park/Blanchet), bow Olivia Gangmark-Strickland (So., Bainbridge Island)