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Gonzaga Wins 2009 WCC Rowing Championship

May 1, 2009

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Gonzaga University women's rowing program continued to dominate the West Coast Conference Championship, winning it for the 12th time in 13 years Friday at Lake Natoma in Sacramento, Calif. The Bulldogs, who had swept all three races in the previous three championships, had to win two races and place second in another to earn enough points to claim the victory over the University of San Diego. The Zags finished with 29 points, while second place Toreros accumulated 25.

Rounding out the championships was Loyola Marymount coming in third with 14 points; Saint Mary's placing fourth with 13 points and Santa Clara earning eight points for fifth place.

"We really went out and focused just on ourselves today," said second year head coach Melissa Flint. "Each boat got to the starting line and did what they had to do. We are extremely excited about winning the championship and I am even more ecstatic about how well everybody rowed today. This motivates us for the next two days of the WIRA Championships."

The Zags posted a first place finish in the I-Eight (Varsity 8+) for the third time in the last four years with a time of 6:37.6, finishing three seconds ahead of San Diego, who crossed the finish line at 6:40.5. Saint Mary's took third for the second-straight season with a time of 6:46.6, followed by Loyola Marymount in fourth at 6:58.3 and Santa Clara in fifth at 7:06.6.

The Varsity 8+ boat consisted of Emily Wilson, Katie Atkins, Alissa Stempson, Liz Moore, Hanna McClintock, Sami Koppinger, Jana Holcombe, Sam Cekovic, Whitney Engle.

In the II-Eight (Second Varsity 8+), Gonzaga took first for the 10th-straight year with a finish of 6:54.0. The Bulldogs were the only school to finish the II-Eight with a sub-7 minute time. San Diego again came in second with a 7:03.5 mark. Loyola Marymount was third (7:11.5), Saint Mary's took fourth (7:16.0) and Santa Clara was last (7:19.7)."I have to say I think the Second Varsity 8+ boat raced their best race of the season today," said Flint. "They were the stars out there for us."

The Second Varsity 8+ boat consisted of Nicky Talkington, Therese Yrani, Paula Welly, Alexis Curtright, Sierra Tittle, Kat Storwick, Hannah Winters, Lauren Miller, Lana Bowie.

Despite placing second, the Zag I-Four raced a great race. The Bulldogs crossed the finish line six seconds behind first place finisher San Diego with a time of 7:46.6. The Toreros won the opening race of the championship with a time of 7:40.0.

The Varsity 4+ was comprised of Rachel Cregg, Sophie Bluhm, Rachel Ross, Rachel Schlosser, and Martha Buttry.

The Bulldogs were rewarded for winning their 12th WCC Championship with three All-Conference selections is Atkins, Engle and McClintock. Wilson was also tabbed as the Coxswain of the Year.

San Diego had two athletes earn All-WCC honors in Hannah Patrick and Beth Spandenberg. Rounding out the All-WCC team was Loyola Marymount's Bettina Messerli, Saint Mary's Johanna Trimmer and Santa Clara's Heather Lynch. Kim Cupini of San Diego was named the Coach of the Year.

WCC Women's Rowing Championship Results

I Four
1. USD - 7:40.0
2. GON - 7:46.6
3. SCU - 8:25.6
4. LMU - 8:32.1

II Eight
1. GON - 6:54.0
2. USD - 7:03.5
3. LMU - 7:11.5
4. SMC - 7:16.0
5. SCU - 7:19.7

I Eight
1. GON - 6:37.6
2. USD - 6:40.5
3. SMC - 6:46.6
4. LMU - 6:58.3
5. SCU - 7:06.6

Final team standings
1. GON - 29
2. USD - 25
3. LMU - 14
4. SMC - 13
5. SCU - 8

All-West Coast Conference
Katie Atkins - GON
Whitney Engle - GON
Heather Lynch - SCU
Hanna McClintock - GON
Bettina Messerli - LMU
Hannah Patrick - USD
Beth Spangenberg - USD
Johanna Timmer - SMC

Coach of the Year
Kim Cupini - USD

Coxswain of the Year
Emily Wilson - GON