June 3, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Gonzaga University women's rowing team closed out its inaugural NCAA Championship, held at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Ind., on an extremely high note Sunday. The Bulldogs ended the 2013 championship winning two D Finals and placing fourth in a C Final to capture 19th in the country.
As a team the Zags finished the regatta with 27 points. The Bulldog Varsity 8+ won their D Final to secure 12 points, the Second Varsity 8+ also won their D Final to grab eight more points and the Varsity 4+ added seven points with their fourth place finish in the C Final.
"Best thing about today was seeing our crews have the opportunity to compete at a high level," explained Gonzaga head coach Glenn Putyrae moments after the championship finished. "Along with that, our team grew up over the course of the weekend and that makes me excited about our future."
Ohio State University won the National Championship - its first in school history - winning both the Grand Final of the Varsity 4+ and Second Varsity 8+ and placing third in the Varsity 8+ Grand Final for a two-point victory over the University of California.
The Varsity 8+ started the finals off for the Bulldogs and earned a commanding four-second victory over the US Naval Academy to finish 19th overall. Gonzaga closed out the 2,000-meter course in 6:47.816, followed by Navy in 6:51.816.
The Second Varsity 8+, who placed fourth in the re-do semifinal Sunday morning, also won its D Final in strong fashion. The Zags crossed the finish line five seconds ahead of the University of Rhode Island in 6:54.043. URI placed second at 6:59.203. The Second Varsity 8+, like the Varsity 8+, ended the weekend in 19th place overall.
"Both the Varsity 8+ and Second Varsity 8+ did the best they could do today," stated Putyrae. "The best result we could get was first in the D Final and they worked hard to accomplish that."
The top moments for Gonzaga came in the Varsity 4+.
The Bulldogs opened the morning race with an exciting semifinal that saw them move up from fourth, to third and ultimately take second place with a time of 7:45.246. Their finish allowed them to move to the C Final.
The C Final - which was the final race of the regatta - was intense from start to finish for the Bulldogs. GU battled with Harvard University down the lake, each trying to secure third place. The Crimson was able to squeaked out third by less than a second with a finish of 7:29.661. Gonzaga crossed the finish line in 7:30.280. The Varsity 4+ ended the weekend taking 16th.
"I was thrilled with how the Varsity 4+ performed," said Putyrae of the boat that boasts four first year rowers. "The members of the boat were put together after WIRA's, so all they accomplished in such a short amount of time was impressive."
Also impressive was the support the members of the Varsity 8+ and Second Varsity 8+ gave the Zags final boat, cheering from the shore line.
"To see our student-athletes run down to the shore line and be the loudest group there, cheering the Varsity 4+ down the course was just awesome," stated Putyrae.
That moment was the perfect ending to the Bulldogs first trip to the NCAA Championship.
"The final day of our first NCAA Championship came together better than I could have imagined," were Putyrae final thoughts.
NCAA Rowing Championship - Final Results
Indianapolis, Ind. - Eagle Creek Park
Team - Points
1. Ohio State - 126
2. California - 124
3. Princeton - 112
4. Southern California - 110
5. Virginia - 108
6. Washington - 102
7. Brown - 91
8. Yale - 84
9. UCLA - 82
10. Stanford - 82
11. Harvard - 79
12. Michigan - 69
13. Notre Dame - 66
14. Washington State - 62
15. Cornell - 50
16. Wisconsin - 44
17. Oklahoma - 35
18. Boston University - 28
19. Gonzaga - 27
20. Navy - 17
21. Rhode Island - 14
22. Marist - 6
Varsity 8+: Naseeb Bhangal, Maomi Medley, Devyn Bell, Kara Soucek, Brooklyn Beeler, Malori McGill, Casey Burt, Madison Keaty, Christine Powers.
Second Varsity 8+: Jordan Schroeder, Sarah Atkins, Natalie Potts, Erin Russell Renee Wyman, Lily Rorick, Jordan Davies, Christy Mentele, Becca Beniot.
Varsity 4+: Laura Brasch, Wendy Wigg, Ingrid Stansberry, Madeleine Verspieren, Alyssa Bashor.
Courtesy of Gonzaga Sports Information