ROWING TAKES HOME THREE GOLDS, A SILVER AND A BRONZE IN FINAL DAY OF THE WIRA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sacramento State's second varsity eight won its first WIRA gold since 2004, and the second in school history
GOLD RIVER, Calif. – The Sacramento State women’s rowing squad medaled in all five of its grand finals today, claiming three golds, one silver and a bronze in the final day of the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championships on a perfect Sunday morning at Lake Natoma. The WIRA’s serve as the Hornets’ conference championship regatta, and crews raced in ideal conditions all day.
The Hornets claimed gold in the second varsity eight, varsity four and novice lightweight four races, a silver in the novice eight, and a bronze in the varsity eight. It marked the first time in school history that Sacramento State was able to medal in each of the regatta’s four most prestigious races (varsity eight, second varsity eight, varsity four and novice eight).
The Hornets’ second varsity eight claimed gold for the just the second time in school history (2004 being the other year), and the novice eight’s second-place showing was the boat’s highest finish since the 2005 crew won gold. In addition, the varsity four claimed gold for the first time since 2008.
Despite today’s success on the water, the Hornets fell short of winning their seventh WIRA team points title. Behind the strength of its first-ever gold medal in the varsity eight, San Diego won the team championship with 396 points. The Toreros were followed by Gonzaga (374) and Sacramento State (360) to round out the top three Div. I squads in the final points standings. Prior to today, either Sacramento State, Gonzaga or Loyola Marymount had won the varsity eight grand final every year dating back to 2000.
A total of five Sacramento State rowers received all-WIRA accolades for today’s efforts. Selected to the first team were seniors Emily Airoldi and Jessa Carlson, and junior Sarah Pivonka. Senior Joanne Stacy and freshman Morgan Stewart were selected to the second team.
“I was very pleased and proud of the team’s effort today,” Sacramento State head coach Mike Connors said. “Taking a home a medal in five events proves we have a strong and deep program. We needed all our boats to race well today, and I felt like everybody did as well as they could have. Give credit to San Diego and Gonzaga, they both have very strong teams.”
The varsity eight race proved to be the most exciting of the day as only 3.5 seconds separated the top three finishers. San Diego placed first with a time of 6:31.1, followed by Gonzaga’s 6:33.4 and the Hornets’ season-best time of 6:34.6. San Diego led nearly the entire way while Gonzaga and Sacramento State constantly traded places throughout the race. The Hornets failed to repeat their gold-medal winning performance from a year ago, but did medal in the event for the 11th time since the program gained intercollegiate status in 1995.
The Hornets’ second varsity eight raced to a winning time of 6:51.8, more than a boat’s length lead over second-place San Diego (6:56.5). Gonzaga’s time of 7:00.1 rounded out the top three in the six-boat field.
After finishing first in its heat yesterday to advance to the grand final, the Hornets’ novice eight (7:08.1) trailed Gonzaga’s winning time of 7:01.1. The Hornets’ second-place time was more than six seconds faster than San Diego’s third-place time of 7:14.9.
The Hornets’ varsity four’s time of 7:30.3 was 10 seconds faster than the next closest boat, and the team’s novice lightweight four’s time of 8:14.7 was 15 seconds better than second-place UC Irvine. The varsity four won by open water despite fielding a boat that consisted of four novice rowers.
Complete results of all the Hornets’ races are below.
Sacramento State returns to the water next week (May 13-14) when the team competes in the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia. At last year’s Dad Vail, the Hornets won the varsity eight title, while the second varsity eight took home a silver.
SACRAMENTO STATE LINEUPS
c - Jessa Carlson, s - Emily Airoldi, 7 - Sarah Pivonka, 6 - Madeleine Folco, 5 - Julia Lathrop, 4 - Caitlin Brennan, 3 - Sadeeka Dosu 2 - Antonia Dendrinos, b - Rebecca Woolston
SECOND VARSITY EIGHT
c - Shelley Zakskorn, s - Adrian Sperry, 7 - Melissa Latimer, 6 - Pam Kline, 5 - Joanne Stacy, 4 - Elizabeth Danielson, 3 - Stephanie Thomas, 2 - Ana Fletcher, b - Noelle Giddens
c - Alyssa Reyna, s - Ashley Ferko, 7 - Karoline Sly, 6 - Morgan Stewart, 5 - Jessica Smith, 4 - Erika Busch, 3 - Jessica Roi, 2 - Alyssa Padberg, b - Malissa Broughton
c - Socheata Guimond, s - Morgan Stewart, 3 - Jessica Smith, 2 - Erika Busch, b - Karoline Sly
NOVICE LIGHTWEIGHT FOUR
c - Alyssa Reyna, s - Clara Mello, 3 - Charity Oberg, 2 - Meghan Nall, b - Ildelisa Mora
SACRAMENTO STATE’S RESULTS
1. Sacramento State 7:30.3
2. San Diego 7:40.3
3. Gonzaga 7:44.9
4. San Diego State 8:11.0
5. UC Davis 8:14.0
6. Saint Mary’s 8:16.7
7. Creighton 8:45.5
NOVICE LIGHTWEIGHT FOUR
1. Sacramento State 8:14.7
2. UC Irvine 8:29.7
1. Gonzaga 7:01.1
2. Sacramento State 7:08.1
3. San Diego 7:14.9
4. Puget Sound 7:17.8
5. UC Santa Barbara 7:22.5
6. Orange Coast College 7:46.7
SECOND VARSITY EIGHT
1. Sacramento State 6:51.8
2. San Diego 6:56.5
3. Gonzaga 7:00.1
4. San Diego State 7:09.9
5. Saint Mary’s 7:12.1
6. Creighton 7:20.4
1. San Diego 6:31.1
2. Gonzaga 6:33.4
3. Sacramento State 6:34.6
4. UC Davis 6:46.2
5. Saint Mary’s 6:48.7
6. San Diego State 6:50.1
7. Creighton 7:00.8