ROWING KICKS OFF SEASON THIS SATURDAY AGAINST SANTA CLARA
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Winners of two of the last three Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) team championships, the Sacramento State women’s rowing squad opens the 2009 season this Saturday, March 7, when the team welcomes Santa Clara to the Sacramento State Aquatic Center on Lake Natoma.
The Hornets and Broncos will compete for the Jim Farwell Cup in the varsity eight race, a prize that Sacramento State has claimed each of the last five years. Racing on Saturday begins at 8:30 a.m. with the novice eight competition, followed by the varsity eight (9 a.m.), the novice four (9:30 a.m.) and the varsity four (10:45 a.m.). The Hornets’ second varsity eight will also compete with the team’s top boat in the 9 a.m. race.
Of Sacramento State’s 10 spring regattas, eight will take place on its home water on Lake Natoma. Beginning with Saturday’s race against Santa Clara, the Hornets will also host the Sacramento State Invitational (March 14), San Diego State (March 28), the Lake Natoma Invitational (April 18-19), UC Davis (April 25), the WIRA Championships (May 2-3), the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships (May 16) and the Pacific-10 Conference Championships (May 17).
Seventh-year head coach Mike Connors will oversee a team that returns 24 student-athletes from last year’s team, which combined for a 14-5 dual-meet record, and won a silver medal at the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia.
Among those returners are six rowers from last year’s varsity eight, comprised of seniors Michelle McMullen, Dani Thole and Ruthie Van Esso, and juniors Kellie Cook, Erin DeGoede and Holly Hopkins. McMullen and Hopkins were both recipients of the National Scholar-Athlete Award last season.
Sacramento State has won four WIRA team titles over the last nine years, and five championships since the program gained intercollegiate status in 1995. The WIRA Championships serve as the team’s conference championship.