March 20, 2006
Sacramento, CA - The Saint Mary's women's rowing team had another strong showing on Sunday at the West Coast Conference Challenge. The Gaels competed in four head-to-head matches, two included the varsity eight against San Diego and Loyola Marymount, and the second varsity eight and the novice eights competed against San Diego as well.
Saint Mary's varsity eight lost to San Diego on Sunday morning by five seconds pulling a 6:45 on Lake Natoma. "The team was disappointed with the loss, but are happy with the improvement. The fastest time SMC has ever raced at Lake Natoma was a 6:59 and that was earned by the varsity eight last spring at ourfinal race, PCRC's." said head women's rowing coach Pasha Spencer.
Sunday afternoon the varsity eight lost to Loyola Marymount by seven seconds after pulling a time of 7:20.6. "We have more depth and speed this year," said Spencer. "Last year we lost to Gonzaga by 29 seconds, and Loyola Marymount by 18 seconds at this same race. It's great to see the competitiveness of the conference improve on a course that is also used for PAC-10 and NCAA Championships."
SMC's second varsity eight race of the day, and third of the events, had the Gaels matched up against LMU in the afternoon. Saint Mary's battled the Lions to the end before falling of the LMU pace by seven seconds. SMC posted a time of 7:20.6 compared to LMU's time of 7:13.6.
The second varsity and the first novice eight also raced against San Diego, falling short in the 2,000-meter course by five seconds, respectively. The Gaels, who were competing with four freshmen in the second varsity eight, finished the distance in a time of 7:11.2. The novice eight pulled a time of 7:26.7.
"Assistant Coach Tom Fries has done a great job building depth in our program. For the second race of the season, this gives us more experience to take into our next big race, the San Diego Crew Classic and the NCRC Invitational," added Spencer.
Saint Mary's will return to the water on Saturday and Sunday, April 1-2 when it competes in the San Diego Crew Classic from Mission Bay.