UC Davis Travels To WIRA Championships This Weekend

UC Davis' varsity eight rows last week against Sacramento State.
UC Davis' varsity eight rows last week against Sacramento State.

May 2, 2008

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WIRA Polls

DAVIS, Calif. -- UC Davis, unbeaten in six varsity eight races, looks to continue a strong spring season this weekend when the Aggies compete in the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships at Lake Natoma.

The Aggies will enter six crews into the regatta which is open to 32 women's teams from throughout the west coast. UC Davis will have boats competing in the varsity eight, second varsity eight, varsity four, pairs, novice eight, second novice eight and novice four races.

The top-seeded varsity eight will be trying to win a gold medal at the event after earning a silver medal at last year's WIRA Championships. The Aggies won their preliminary heat in 2007 and then finished second to Gonzaga by four seconds in the grand final. The Bulldogs are currently ranked second in this week's WIRA poll behind UC Davis.

For the Aggies, they hope to keep their winning ways intact after finishing first in each of their six races this spring, including a pair of wins at the San Diego Crew Classic in April that delivered them the Cal Cup for the second consecutive year. Since then, they've also beaten LMU and Sacramento State in dual matchups.

UC Davis has been the top-ranked team in the WIRA women's varsity eight poll all season and is followed in this week's top five by Gonzaga, San Diego, Sacramento State and San Diego State. Western Washington, Saint Mary's, LMU, Santa Clara and UCSD round out the top 10.

The Aggies will race at 10:50 a.m. on Saturday in the first of two varsity eight preliminary heats with the top three teams in both races advancing to Sunday's grand final at 11:50 a.m. The rival Hornets, Western Washington, Puget Sound and LMU are also in their heat.

The second varsity eight, unbeaten in four races this spring and seeded second, will race from lane 1 at 2:10 p.m. in the second of two preliminary heats. The Aggies will race alongside Sacramento State, which they beat by approximately four seconds last week at the Port of Sacramento, and will be joined by Western Washington, Puget Sound, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara.

The top three finishers will race in Sunday's grand final

The novice eight and second novice eight crews are also seeded second heading into the races this weekend. The Aggies' top boat will be in the second heat at 11:40 a.m., needing to finish in the top two to move on to the final. The second novice eight will race in Sunday's grand final only at 9 a.m.

UC Davis' varsity four crew will race its prelim race at 12:40 p.m. on Saturday, the novice four competes at 9 a.m. and Aggies' pair goes at 3:30.

Teams will also be competing for the overall WIRA Team Championship which combines finishes from all entries.

Racing, which also includes a full slate of men's competition, begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday and continues until 5:30 p.m. Grand finals, petite finals and third finals start at 8 a.m. on Sunday and conclude at 11:50.