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Women's Crew Sends Three To WIRA Grand Final

April 29, 2006

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Gonzaga University women's crew program advanced three boats to the Sunday Grand Finals as day one of the 2006 WIRA Championships came to a close. Gonzaga will have a chance to defend its Varsity 8+ and Junior Varsity 8+ titles as both boats advanced through heat racing.

Gonzaga's Varsity 8+ battled San Diego State over the 2,000 meter course at Lake Natoma with the Bulldogs falling by .3 seconds to the San Diego State boat to finish third in the heat race. San Diego State crossed at 6:50.4 with Gonzaga closing at 6:50.7. Both boats were not able to catch Sacramento State which won the heat with a time of 6:46.6. All three boats will advance to Sunday's WIRA Grand Final as there were just two heat races for women's Varsity 8+ action. Puget Sound was fourth followed closely by Saint Mary's. Santa Clara was sixth and UC Irvine seventh. Gonzaga had entered the championships as the 10th seed.

The Junior Varsity 8+ also placed third in its heat race but advanced to the Grand Final based on there only being two heat races. San Diego State had a dominating performance to win the heat race at 6:53.2. Loyola Marymount was second at 6:57.7 followed by Gonzaga at 7:01.8. Puget Sound was a distance fourth at 7:14.5 followed by Santa Clara and Pacific Lutheran.

Gonzaga's Novice 8+ turned in the biggest margin of victory of the day cruising to a 25-second win in their heat race. Gonzaga turned in a time of 6:56.4 with Loyola Marymount running second at 7:21.1. Sonoma State was a second behind LMU at 7:22.8. San Diego State was fourth followed by Colorado, California (LW) and Portland. Gonzaga had its second strong performance in as many days. On Friday afternoon the Bulldogs Novice 8+ rowed in the JV race of the WCC championships picking up a win in that event.

WIRA Championships - Day One
(Lake Natoma, CA - 2,000 meters)

Varsity 8+ (heat race)
1. Sacramento State - 6:46.6
2. San Diego State - 6:50.4
3. Gonzaga - 6:50.7
4. Puget Sound - 6:55.4
5. Saint Mary's - 6:56.6
6. Santa Clara - 7:00.6
7. UC Irvine - 7:14.5

Junior Varsity 8+ (heat race)
1. San Diego State - 6:53.2
2. Loyola Marymount - 6:57.7
3. Gonzaga - 7:01.8
4. Puget Sound - 7:14.5
5. Santa Clara - 7:25.1
6. Pacific Lutheran - 7:49.9

Novice 8+ (heat race)
1. Gonzaga - 6:56.4
2. Loyola Marymount - 7:21.1
3. Sonoma State - 7:22.8
4. San Diego State - 7:31.8
5. Colorado - 7:33.3
6. Cal (Light Weights) - 7:33.9
7. Portland - 7:38.6