April 28, 2006
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gonzaga University women's crew finished in a tie with Loyola Marymount University in the final point standings at the West Coast Conference Rowing championships, but the Bulldogs were denied a 10th straight WCC title after falling in the Varsity 8+ race to the Lions at Lake Natoma just outside of Sacramento.
Gonzaga and LMU each finished with 27 points in the championship which consists of events in the Varsity 8+, Second Varsity 8+ and Varsity 4+. Gonzaga won two of the three events but lost by five seconds to LMU in the Varsity 8+ race handing the Lions their first WCC rowing title based on a tie-break rule in the WCC handbook.
"I'm really proud of the effort put forth by our team," stated GU head coach Glenn Putyrae following the tie-breaking loss. "Our team rowed a great race, but LMU just had a better Varsity 8+ then us today. We have been the program WCC team's have been chasing for nine years and today someone caught up to us."
LMU rowed a time of 6:38.8 to capture the Varsity 8+ race with Gonzaga placing second at 6:43.3. Santa Clara was third followed by Saint Mary's and San Diego. This is the second time LMU has won the Varsity 8+ race, with GU winning the other 8 WCC Varsity 8+ races. LMU won the Varsity 8+ race in 2004 but Gonzaga won the team title by one point based on wins in the other two races.
In the second varsity 8+ race, Gonzaga entered a boat filled with Novice rowers and defeated LMU by six seconds. Gonzaga posted a time of 6:47.3 with LMU right behind at 6:53.5. San Diego was third followed by Saint Mary's and Santa Clara.
Gonzaga posted a 10-second margin of victory in the Varsity 4+ race with a time of 7:40.0. LMU was second at 7:50.6 with Saint Mary's third. San Diego and Santa Clara rounded out the field.
Gonzaga had two rowers earn All-WCC honors with Kari Durgan (SR - Vancouver, WA) and Sarah Allison (SR - Highlands Ranch, CO) being repeat honorees. Gonzaga will now compete in the WIRA Championships on Saturday and Sunday at Lake Natoma.
"After winning nine straight championships, you knew the streak was going to end at some point. You just never want this to be the year," Putyrae added. "Our program showed some character with the way we handled losing the championship. I think we had a lot of positives come out of today, especially with a Novice crew winning the Second Varsity 8+ race."
Final Point Standings:
1. LMU - 27 *
2. Gonzaga - 27
3. Saint Mary's - 13
4. Santa Clara - 12
5. San Diego - 11
1. LMU, 6:38.8, 15 points
2. Gonzaga, 6:43.3, 12 points
3. Santa Clara, 6:46.7, 9 points
4. Saint Mary's, 6:48.2, 6 points
5. San Diego, 6:49.3, 3 points
* LMU is the champion according to section 2 (c) of the WCC handbook on page 62 which states: "In the event of a tie for overall champion, placement (highest finisher) in the I-Eight Race shall be the tiebreaker."
1. Gonzaga, 6:47.3, 10 points
2. LMU, 6:53.5, 8 points
3. San Diego, 7:03.8, 6 points
4. Saint Mary's, 7:10.8, 4 points
5. Santa Clara, 7:12.3, 2 points
1. Gonzaga, 7:40.0, 5 points
2. LMU, 7:50.6, 4 points
3. Saint Mary's, 7:55.9, 3 points
4. San Diego, 8:02.8, 2 points
5. Santa Clara, 8:32.0, 1 point