Aggies Claim Two Gold And Two Silver Medals At WIRA Championships

The Aggies' second varsity eight won a gold medal on Sunday at the WIRA Championships. <br> (Randy Southard)
The Aggies' second varsity eight won a gold medal on Sunday at the WIRA Championships.
(Randy Southard)

April 29, 2007

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GOLD RIVER, Calif. -- UC Davis' second varsity eight and second novice eight crews claimed gold medals at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships on Sunday at Lake Natoma while the varsity eight and novice eight boats rounded out a strong day for the Aggies by winning silver medals in their grand finals.

Additionally, four Aggies earned All-WIRA honors and the program was awarded the Efficiency Trophy.

Three of four Aggie crews won preliminary heats on Saturday to advance to Sunday's grand finals while the second novice eight advanced automatically to its championship race. The second varsity eight won its title in 6 minutes, 55.2 seconds over the 2,000-meter race while the second novice eight was a winner in 7:22.1. The varsity eight, seeded second at the regatta, were edged by top-seeded Gonzaga, crossing in a season-best 6:47.2, four seconds behind the Bulldogs. The UC Davis novices took second in their grand final with a time of 7:14.4.

The 33-team regatta, which is the program's conference championship event, featured four UC Davis boats in grand finals for the second consecutive year. The Aggies had at least three crews in championships races at the event for the fifth straight season.The gold medals were the first for the program since the second varsity eight captured a win in 2005. The Aggies won a silver medal in that class last year.

"At the beginning of the year we sat down and decided on a team goal," said Aggie interim coach Carissa Adams. "That team goal was to have all boats medal at WIRA. That we did.



"It is really great to be able to witness the accomplishments that these young women have made this entire year," she added. "To coach them has truly been a privilege."

The second varsity eight, which advanced on Saturday after going 6:54.2 for an eight-second win over rival Sacramento State, won its race on Sunday with a close three-second win over Gonzaga, which was second in 6:58.2. The Hornets grabbed third in 7:05.9 while San Diego State was fourth in 7:12.3. Fourteen schools were represented in the second varsity eight competition.

Rowing in the victorious second varsity eight were Tara Davis at coxswain, Liz Russo at stroke, Lucci Lautze at seven, Heidi Okowitz at six, Dary Ward at five, Melissa Wong at four, Angela Bruno at three, Reva Birnbaum at two and Brooke Thomas at bow.

Bruno earned further distinction for the Aggies by earning All-WIRA Second Boat.

The varsity eight qualified for its third grand final this season looking for its second championship after winning the Cal Cup title at the prestigious San Diego Crew Classic in early April. The Aggies were facing Gonzaga for the second consecutive grand final after facing the Bulldogs at the Knecht Cup in New Jersey two weeks. Gonzaga, which won back east as well after also being top-seeded in that event, held off UC Davis at the WIRA Championships, winning in 6:43.2 while the Aggies edged Western Washington (6:47.7) by a half-second for runner-up honors. UC Davis also finished in front of Sacramento State for the third consecutive race with the Hornets earning fourth on Sunday in 6:55.7.

The Aggies' varsity eight boat was comprised of Katherine Cobarrubia at coxswain, Sunny Caldwell at stroke, Sarah Kay at seven, May Roberts at six, Vanessa Cuellar at five, Erica Southard at four, Laura Kelleher at three, Amber Buntin at two and Alicia Foley at bow.

Cobarrubia, Caldwell and Cuellar helped highlight an already impressive day for the Aggies by being named to the All-WIRA First Boat.

"Although only four were named in the All-WIRA lineup it shouldn't go unnoted that I believe they all deserve mention considering it took every single one of them to buy into and accomplish our team goal," said Adams.

The varsity eight qualified for the final with their eighth win of the season on Saturday, posting a seven-second win over the Hornets in their preliminary heat. Its time of 6:47.5 was its fastest of the season before eclipsing that on Sunday. UC Davis has won eight of its 10 races in 2007.

UC Davis' two novice boats also enjoyed good showings on Sunday with the second novice eight posting a 10-second win in its race to claim gold medal honors. The Aggies crossed in 7:22.1 to easily beat Humboldt State, which was second in 7:32.5. San Diego State (7:54.7) was a distant third in the six-boat final.

In the second novice eight were Gel Bundros at coxswain, Castiel Shepp at stroke, Susan Novik at six, Megan Feeney at five, Ashley Lugo at four, Garen Garza at three, Elisabeth Rihn at two, Bethany Rogowski at two and Sossi Hanoian at bow.

The novice eight, which went 7:12.3 in their victorious prelim race on Saturday, faced a tough Gonzaga crew in the grand final. The Bulldogs had the fastest time on Saturday and did so again a day later by going 6:57.1 to finish first in front of the Aggies (7:14.1) who crossed solidly in front of third-place Humboldt State (7:21.3) and fourth-place San Diego State (7:21.6).

In the novice boat were Krista Rindell at coxswain, Delaney Chapman at stroke, Jessie Adams-Shore at seven, Susan Crow at six, Early Elias at five, Amanda Schoeneman at four, Caroline Shipley at three, Elizabeth Bache at two and Claire Swanback at bow.

Sacramento State claimed the team title at the WIRA Championships after placing all six of its crews in grand finals. The Aggies had four boats entered in the regatta, all four of them also earning berths in championship races.

UC Davis will conclude its spring season in two weeks at Lake Natoma when the Aggies participate in the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships on May 12 and the Pacific-10 Championships on May 13.

Lake Natoma (Gold River, Calif.)
UC Davis results only
All grand finals

VARSITY EIGHT - 1. Gonzaga, 6:43.2; 2. UC Davis. 6:47.2; 3. Western Washington, 6:47.7; 4. Sacramento State, 6:55.7; 5. San Diego State, 7:02.4; 6. LMU, 7:03.9.

SECOND VARSITY EIGHT - 1. UC Davis, 6:55.2; Gonzaga, 6:58.2; 3. Sacramento State, 7:05.9; 4. San Diego State, 7:12.3; 5. Western Washington, 7:21.4; 6. Puget Sound, 7:24.5.

NOVICE EIGHT - 1. Gonzaga, 6:57.1; 2. UC Davis, 7:14.4; 3. Humboldt State, 7:21.3; 4. San Diego State, 7:21.6; 5. Sacramento State, 7:25.2; 6. UC San Diego, 7:25.6.

SECOND NOVICE EIGHT - 1. UC Davis, 7:22.1; 2. Humboldt State, 7:32.5; 3. San Diego State, 7:54.7; 4. UC Santa Barbara, 8:15.9; 5. Santa Clara, 8:16.9; 6. Pacific, 8:38.6.

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