Crew wraps up best WIRA Championship regatta in five years

Crew wraps up best WIRA Championship regatta in five years

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—The Puget  Sound Crew program finished off its best Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship regatta in five years Sunday with two boats placing third in the grand finals and another one competing in the grand final on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif.

The Women's Varsity 8 and Second Women's Varsity 8 boats both took third place in grand finals heats, winning bronze medals for their efforts. The WV8 boat finished third after running in fourth place halfway through the race. They ran down and passed UC San Diego's boat in the final portion of the course to cross in third at 7:09.33. Only Humboldt State and Western Washington, two of the best Division II rowing programs, finished above Puget Sound. 

Puget Sound's Men's Varsity 8 boat also competed in the grand final, seeing the top-ranked race for the first time in 10 years. The MV8 race was tight throughout as only 13 seconds separated No. 1 UCSB and No. 6 Puget Sound. The Loggers completed the course in 6:14.17, not even two seconds behind Orange Coast College for fifth.

The Second Women's Varsity 8 boat also had a close race with the crew from UC San Diego with the Loggers once again prevailing over the Division II Tritons. Puget Sound finished the course in 7:21.01 and in third place, the Loggers' second bronze medal of the regatta.

"This was the best full-squad showing in five years for us," said Puget Sound Crew coach Aaron Benson. "I feel very good with our weekend performances across the board."

Three members of Logger Crew received All-WIRA honors due to their performances in the regatta. Seniors Kenzie Marshall and Carly Schirmbeck both received First Team All-WIRA honors while Melissa Marlin took home Second Team honors.

The entire Puget Sound Crew will race once more this season: at the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference Championship on Dexer Lake in Lowell, Ore. That regatta will take place on Saturday, May 3.