ROWING POSTS FASTEST TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY WHILE WINNING ITS FOURTH CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
GOLD RIVER, Calif. – Sacramento State’s women’s varsity eight posted a school-record time of 6:35.9 over 2,000 meters to claim its fourth Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) championship Sunday afternoon at Lake Natoma.
The WIRAs serve as the Hornets’ conference championships as the team’s varsity eight won the gold medal for the first time since 2001, and the fourth time (1995, 2000, 2001, 2006) since the program gained intercollegiate status in 1995.
Sacramento State had posted top four finishes each of the last four years (including a third-place finish last season) before finally getting over the hump this year.
The conference championship for the Hornets marked the fifth for Sacramento State’s athletics program this year as the rowing team joined volleyball, gymnastics, men’s tennis (co-regular season title) and women’s tennis as the five Hornet programs to win league titles in 2005-06.
The Hornets also won the WIRA team points trophy over Loyola Marymount and San Diego State to round out the top three.
Sacramento State fourth-year head coach Mike Connors was named the WIRA Coach of the Year, and Hornet seniors Laura Harder and Brittney Claycamp, and junior Janine LaCrosse were each named first team all-WIRA. It marked the second-straight year that all three were named to the all-WIRA team.
“I’m very proud of our team, and this was a huge victory for the program,” Connors said. “(The varsity eight grand final) was the one race that has eluded us over the past few years, and we were able to get over the hump today.
“The team went out, executed and won what they deserved.
They made a move on Loyola Marymount with about 500 meters to go, and carried that momentum into the final stretch. Our girls executed the race plan perfectly, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.”
After winning its heat yesterday by four seconds to advance to today’s grand final, Sacramento State’s varsity eight held off WIRA rivals Loyola Marymount and Gonzaga for the title. The Hornets’ winning time of 6:35.9 was not only a school record, but was the first time the program finished with a time below 6:40.0.
Trailing the Hornets in the varsity eight grand final were Loyola Marymount (6:38.0), Gonzaga (6:41.0), UC Davis (6:42.8), San Diego State (6:46.3) and Western Washington (6:47.0). Gonzaga won gold last year, and dating back to 2000, either Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount or Sacramento State has won the WIRA title.
Sacramento State also medaled in both the novice eight (third) and second novice eight (first) grand finals. The Hornets’ novice eight has now medaled in the grand final three-consecutive years. This season, the team''s time of 6:47.3 trailed Gonzaga and UC San Diego. The second novice eight won its first-ever gold medal at the event, posting a winning time of 7:12.8.
In the second varsity eight grand final, the Hornets finished fifth with a time of 6:49.4, trailing San Diego State, UC Davis, Gonzaga and Loyola Marymount. The fifth-place finish marked the first time in five years the team had not medaled in the second varsity eight grand final.
The Hornets also won a medal (silver) in the novice lightweight four, finishing with a time of 7:56.3 behind Cal’s winning time of 7:45.9.
Sacramento State concludes the regular season in two weeks when the team competes in both the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships (May 13) and the Pacific-10 Conference Championships (May 14). Both regattas will take place at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center at Lake Natoma.
Sacramento State''s Varsity Eight Lineup: Ashley Platner at coxswain, Laura Harder at stroke, Brittney Claycamp at seven, Meghyn Cox at six, Aimee Chenard at five, Steffanie Jakovac at four, Janine LaCrosse at three, Constance Deslauriers at two and Ashley Roundtree at bow.
Sacramento State''s Second Varsity Eight Lineup: Cecilia Vina at coxswain, Ashley Loucks at stroke, Kristin Hill at seven, Jacqueline Sechser at six, Justine Fernandez at five, Ashley Borelli at four, Kristin Carlson at three, Jenna Duale at two and Teresa Bitcon at bow.
Sacramento State''s Novice Eight Lineup: Amy Branstetter at coxswain, Anne Morrison at stroke, Ruthie Van Esso at seven, Alicia Tarkenton at six, Megan Riggs at five, Kyle Johnston at four, Sherry Payne at three, Dani Thole at two and Aleisha DeCindis at bow.
Sacramento State’s Second Novice Eight Lineup: Hannah Shaw at coxswain, Angela DeClaro at stroke, Kelli Linker at seven, Jennifer Slaton at six, Sandra Miller at five, Katie Keeler at four, Jessica Salas at three, Vanessa Chiu at two and Tara Wynn at box.
Sacramento State’s Novice Lightweight Four Lineup: Branstetter at coxswain, DeCindis at stroke, Salas at three, Chiu at two and Luz Alvarez at bow.
SACRAMENTO STATE’S WOMEN’S RESULTS
NOVICE LIGHTWEIGHT FOUR GRAND FINAL
1. Cal Lightweights 7:45.9
2. Sacramento State 7:56.3
3. Chapman 8:04.1
4. Humboldt State 8:15.9
5. UC San Diego 8:29.2
SECOND NOVICE EIGHT GRAND FINAL
1. Sacramento State 7:12.8
2. Long Beach State 7:29.7
3. Chapman 7:32.7
4. Sonoma State 7:39.7
5. UC San Diego 7:45.0
6. Puget Sound 7:51.4
NOVICE EIGHT GRAND FINAL
1. Gonzaga 6:35.8
2. UC San Diego 6:46.1
3. Sacramento State 6:47.3
4. UC Santa Barbara 6:57.8
5. UC Davis 7:00.2
6. Loyola Marymount 7:06.8
SECOND VARSITY EIGHT GRAND FINAL
1. San Diego State 6:35.6
2. UC Davis 6:37.8
3. Gonzaga 6:40.7
4. Loyola Marymount 6:45.6
5. Sacramento State 6:49.4
6. San Diego 6:57.0
VARSITY EIGHT GRAND FINAL
1. Sacramento State 6:35.9
2. Loyola Marymount 6:38.0
3. Gonzaga 6:41.0
4. UC Davis 6:42.8
5. San Diego State 6:46.3
6. Western Washington 6:47.0