Gonzaga set program records at first day of NCAA championship

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May 27, 2017

Courtesy of gozags.com

Saturday Schedule & Results

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. -- The (RV) Gonzaga Bulldogs competed in six races on the first day of the 2017 NCAA Championships on Friday at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J. The Zags set four new program-low times at the NCAA Championships and two best times on the year.

The Bulldogs, making their third-straight trip to the event, opened the day by setting new NCAA Championships program records in times in all three heat races and the varsity eight and second varsity eight both put down their fastest times this year. Tailwinds made for fast times, but also difficult chop at times.

The Zags' top crew opened the day in a heat featuring all top-15 nationally ranked teams. The Zags finished fifth with their record time of 6:22.306, but were just two seconds behind local rival in No. 15 Washington State. The Bulldogs shaved eight seconds off their previous NCAA Championships record time set last year. No. 3 Michigan beat No. 2 Cal by three seconds to win, and No. 13 Iowa was third, five seconds ahead of WSU.

Next up was the second varsity eight, and the Bulldogs defeated WSU by two seconds with a new NCAA-low time of 6:30.939, 12 seconds better than their previous best from last year to finish fourth, matching their record-low heat finish from last year. No. 1 Washington beat No. 11 Wisconsin by five seconds to win and No. 9 Yale was 10 seconds ahead of GU for third. It marked the first win over WSU for the Zags second varsity eight this season.

The varsity four finished the sweep of setting new program-low times at the event, finishing in fifth at 7:28.072, less than a second behind WSU, also matching their heat finish from last year, the best at the time. No. 4 Ohio State won, beating Yale by nine seconds and Northeastern was nine seconds behind them in third. Next were the Cougars, seven seconds later, and UMASS finished sixth, 20 seconds behind the Zags.

All three boats moved into the repechage races in the afternoon, which was moved back an hour due to high winds.

The varsity eight finished sixth just two seconds off their morning pace at 6:24.640. No. 10 Virginia took the win, beating No. 6 Brown by two seconds. No. 13 Iowa was third and Northeastern was fourth, with No. 12 Syracuse coming in fifth two seconds ahead of GU. The Zags bested Navy by four seconds.

The second varsity eight finished fifth at 6:40.989, six seconds ahead of Navy. No. 8 Stanford won the race, beating No. 12 Syracuse by three seconds. Northeastern finished third and No. 16 Notre Dame was fourth, two seconds ahead of GU. UMass finished 12 seconds behind Navy.

The varsity four bounced back in great fashion, finishing fourth at 7:15.670, setting their new NCAA best time again and beating the morning time by 13 seconds, with their best repechage finish in school history. They edged Northeastern by less than a second and beat Central Florida by 15 seconds, and Jacksonville by 34 seconds. No. 11 Wisconsin won the race, four seconds ahead of Syracuse, and Notre Dame was third, three seconds ahead of the Zags.

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