DYLAN FOREMAN; Sports Writer: foremad@plu.edu

The Women’s Rowing team has had a phenomenal season claiming the Northwest Conference championship after both varsity boats captured first place in Vancouver April 24. 

However, the season is far from over as the Lutes have a chance to make it to the NCAA Championships pending how the rest of their season turns out.

After winning coach of the year in the Northwest Conference, second-year women’s rowing coach, Andy Foltz, knows the team is continuing to strive for their ultimate goal of making it to the NCAA championships.

“[The team] is incredibly happy, but they’re not satisfied,” Foltz said. “We’ve had a tremendous season ,and it’s been incredibly successful, and yet their goals are so much bigger.”

In terms of achieving their main goal, fate plays a huge part. The NCAA selection committee looks at all the teams across the nation and decides what eight teams need to go to the NCAA championships in Sacramento. Every region of the country needs to be represented. Luckily for the Lutes, the team is ranked number one in the west region while the first varsity boat is also ranked number one in the west region.

With the second varsity boat also performing well this season they could have the chance to send the full team to the NCAA championships, a rarity for any rowing club or team. Part of the reason why the team has performed at such a high level is in part to the individual accomplishments as well as the collective team effort.

The 2016 Women's Rowing Team
The 2016 Women’s Rowing Team

First-year Hannah Peterson and seniors Carly Lange and Kari Brauer earned all-conference honors as they helped propel the team to a dominant season.

The Lutes travelled to Sacramento this past weekend to compete in 2016 Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships (WIRA) where both the first varsity and second varsity boat placed fourth in the grand finals. Depending on how the NCAA  committee views that performance, their season, and future performances, the Lutes have a solid shot at attaining an NCAA Championships berth.

“Their goals are so much bigger. If we don’t make it to NCAA championships we’ll be disappointed, but at the same we had such a strong season that we can’t be disappointed.”

The Lute’s next race is the Windermere Cup at the University of Washington on May 7 where the Lutes will race a variety of teams on the Montlake Cut in Seattle. Also, the Lutes will find out their fate on May 9 in regards to their NCAA Championship bid.

MCKENNA MORIN; Photography Editor; morinnm@plu.edu

This weekend the Women’s Rowing team put up a good fight but still fell short of our goals. We  headed to Sacramento, Calif., to compete in the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship regatta last Thursday in hopes of securing a spot at nationals.

McKenna Morin ColorAfter having two practices on the race course Friday, we felt prepared and hopeful for the races Saturday. My boat raced first, around 8:30 a.m. in a strong head wind pushing against us. Our coxswain did a great job of pushing us through the rough water but we didn’t quite come out where we were hoping. After our second race, the final was canceled due to high winds. We finished WIRA’s in fifth.

Our Varsity eight and second Varsity eight both had strong races as well but the medals were just out of their grasps as well. Both boats placed fourth overall. We also had a brand new boat, a double, comprised of two rowers, on the race course. Having only been practicing in this boat for two weeks, this was their second competition in this boat. Although they did not place, it was still a great accomplishment to have this boat row and compete in a competition of this size.

I don’t know if it was nerves that got to us or the 85 degree weather that affected our races but it was still an honor to be able to race against some of the best teams in the west. Even though this weekend felt like a disappointment, I am still so proud of my team for doing its best. I have high hopes that we will get selected for the NCAA national regatta and return to California at the end of May ◼︎

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