May 31, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - With jitters of excitement and anxiousness, the Gonzaga University women's rowing team continued its history making season Friday participating in the first day of the 2013 NCAA Championship; the Bulldogs inaugural appearance in school history. The day wasn't smooth sailing for any team as the steady dose of rain and wind hampered the otherwise exciting day.
All three of the Zag boats - Varsity 8+, Second Varsity 8+ and Varsity 4+ - raced twice Friday at the Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Ind., and head coach Glenn Putyrae was pleased with their opening day outcome.
"I think it was a good day of racing," stated Putyrae. "I was really pleased for the rowers. To have them get on the water, race and get down to the finish line knowing they were part of this regatta. They weren't outsiders, they weren't the slowest people here and that is important for them as a young group continuing to grow. The most exciting part was in almost all the boats at some point today they realized that the things they do every day are competitive with some of the teams in this field."
The Gonzaga Varsity 8+ started the day placing fifth out of sixth in its heat race and sixth out of seventh in its afternoon repechage. The Bulldogs posted a 2,000-meter time of 7:18.55 - five seconds behind fourth place finisher University of Wisconsin and 16 seconds ahead of University of Rhode Island in sixth. The University of Virginia and the University of Washington claimed first and second place with times of 6:49.64 and 6:56.88, respectively.
The Bulldogs had a rough start in their repechage race but recovered enough to earn sixth place with a finish of 7:39.98. Stanford University and Yale University took the top two spots in 7:05.09 and 7:05.36, respectively.
GU will now race in the C/D Semifinal Saturday at 8:30 a.m. ET (5:30 a.m. PT), with the top three advancing to the Upper Final Sunday.
In the Second Varsity 8+ heat, the Zags claimed fifth place with a time of 7:21.89, two seconds behind fourth place University of Oklahoma and 55 seconds ahead of sixth place Marist. USC was first in 6:56.30 and Princeton second in 6:58.55.
In their repechage, Gonzaga crossed the finish line in sixth place at 7:47.22. Boston University squeaked out fifth place over the Bulldogs in 7:47.20. UCLA and Stanford were the top two boats at 7:20.74 and 7:25.44.
The Bulldogs Second Varsity 8+ C/D Semifinal is set for Saturday at 9:10 a.m. ET (6:10 a.m. PT) with the top three advancing to the Upper Final, which is set for Sunday.
Gonzaga's Varsity 4+ boat took sixth in its heat race but bounced back with a sixth place (out of seven) in its repechage and shaved nearly two minutes off its morning time. The Bulldogs had a time of 8:38.33 in their morning heat and crossed the finish line in 8:36.25 in their repechage.
Washington (8:01.71) and Notre Dame (8:07.37) finished first and second in the Varsity 4+ heat and Stanford (8:07.69) and Michigan (8:10.99) were the top two finishers in the repechage.
The Bulldogs will participate in the C/D Semifinal Saturday at 9:50 a.m. ET (6:50 PT) with the top three advancing to Sunday's Upper Final.
Putyrae isn't looking to change anything for tomorrow's races but wants to continue to do the successful things his team has been doing all season.
"Tomorrow we need to make sure we go out and do what we know we are capable of doing," explained Putyrae. "The afternoon was a lot rougher and I don't think we responded well to the conditions. We have to control the things we can control and eliminate some of the mistakes that we made today. Ultimately we learned a lot over the course of the two races and are excited to keep this experience building and keep racing and improving as we progress in the championship."
Courtesy of Gonzaga Sports Information