SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento State women’s rowing squad was honored Wednesday morning by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for the team’s “No Alcohol” pledge during the season and for winning the program’s fourth Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association championship on April 30.
ABC Director Jerry Jolly hand delivered a certificate of appreciation and a letter of commendation to the Hornets this morning at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center.
Each member of the rowing team pledged at the beginning of the year to stay “dry” during the race season. The team has been wearing sobriety bracelets all year as a sign of team unity, and the season was highlighted two weeks ago when the Hornets won their first WIRA championship since the 2001 season.
“These young women have taken a bold and courageous step by saying no to alcohol and then following through together with a successful season on the water,” ABC Director Jolly said. “Their message is very strong and comes at a time of the year when many young people will be celebrating with graduation and end of the school year festivities. We hope their example spreads far and wide among underage youth throughout California.”
“I’m very proud of the stand against alcohol the team has taken this year,” Sacramento State Athletics Director Terry Wanless said. “The rowing team is a model that we would like other athletics programs at Sacramento State to look at and follow.”
Sacramento State head coach Mike Connors added, “I am proud of the rowers for making this commitment to the team and each other. We have talked the last couple years about the importance of limiting alcohol intake and the need to stay ‘dry’ during race season. Our sport is very training intensive, so in order to achieve peak performance, the rowers must keep their mind and bodies sharp at all times. The rowers decided it was important to find a way to show their support of this team policy and the results we achieved this season are certainly reflective of their hard work and discipline.”
Senior co-captain Laura Harder said, “We knew that if we wanted to achieve all of our goals, this commitment would only enhance our chance of making them a reality. All of our girls decided to pledge themselves entirely to this team effort by giving up alcohol for the season. This was a significant decision because of the pressures of drinking in the college environment. Our team did an amazing job this year by making our goals a priority and I am extremely proud of all of my teammates for their desire, drive, and determination to make this season successful.”
ABC is responsible for licensing and regulating California’s alcohol industry which includes enforcement of laws regarding sales of alcohol to minors. ABC is a department of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which is under the direction of Secretary Sunne Wright McPeak, a member of the Governor’s Cabinet.
Sacramento State concludes the regular season this weekend (May 13-14) where the team will take part in the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships on Saturday, and the Pacific-10 Conference Championships on Sunday. Should the Hornets’ varsity eight finish in the top four or five spots in the grand final, the team could be selected to compete at the NCAA Championships which take place May 26-28 in West Windsor, N.J.