GOLD RIVER, Calif. – The Gonzaga women’s rowing team capped off a historical season with fantastic finishes on the final day of action at the NCAA Championships in Gold River, Calif.
Gonzaga finished a program-best 16th overall as a team, and had two individual boat finishes that were also the best in program history with the Varsity 8 and Second Varsity 8. The Zags combined for 45 points in the team race, which tied with Duke.
GU’s V8 finished second in the C Final and 14th overall, while the 2V8 was fourth in the C Final and 16th overall – both rank as the highest finishes in their boat class in program history. In addition, Gonzaga’s Varsity 4 took home the win in their D Final race to place 19th overall.
“Overall today, the racing was great,” head coach Glenn Putyrae said. “The level of competition keeps getting better. The amount of effort that it takes to get your bow in front of another crew takes more power, more finesse and more pain when you get down to the last 500 meters. I think in general we did as well as we could have in that respect. You don’t want to see your boat fade at the end, and I think for all of our crews, our strongest 500 was at the end when it counted the most.”
The Varsity 8 did exactly that in GU’s most exciting race of the day, battling Yale down to the finish line for second place. The Zags trailed Yale and Washington State for the first 1,500 meters, but closed on Yale in the final 500 meters to grab second place in the C Final by just under a quarter-second. GU finished in a time of 6:24.93, compared to Yale’s 6:25.16. WSU won the C Final with a time of 6:22.99.
In the Second Varsity 8, GU found itself in sixth at the 1,000-meter mark by less than a second, but by the 500-meter mark, they had moved to fourth. In the final 500 meters, the Zags continued to pull away from fifth-place Northeastern and sixth-place USC by a two-second and four-second margin at the finish. GU came through in a time of 6:42.39, eight seconds behind C Final winner Duke.
The Varsity 4 continued its trend of getting stronger as the weekend wore on, taking a race win in the D Final. GU was in second through the first 500 meters, but went at least five seconds faster than the rest of the field in the second 500 before putting open water between them and the competition. The Zags claimed the victory in a time of 7:38.23, more than 12 seconds ahead of second-place Rhode Island.
“I’m really happy that we could end our season with our best races of the year, and I’m sad that it’s over for this group of seniors,” Putyrae said. “They’ve had such an impact on the program, both in terms of their work ethic and from a culture standpoint. They’ve established a new expectation in terms of what it means to be a member of this team. We are really excited to see what they do with their talents in their next steps.”
Varsity 8 - Karly Dougherty, Kara Soucek, Ingrid Stansberry, Meghan McCallum, Devyn Bell, Lauren English, Brooklyn Beeler, Olivia Marsh, Lindey English
Second Varsity 8 - Hailey Rousseau, Lily Rorick, Micailah Donner, Isabelle Belzil, Hannah Schneiderman,Anna Johnson, Madeleine Verspieren, Hannah Brown, Casey Harder
Varsity 4 – Marie Hayman, Amelie Tristant, Georgia Davey, Megan Seifert, Clare Manthey