Willamette Rowing Teams win Four Events at Behind Ross Island #2 Regatta

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110 and
Susan Parkman contributed to this story.

(ROWING) PORTLAND, ORE. -- The Willamette University rowing teams opened the 2007 spring season by winning four events at the Behind Ross Island #2 Regatta, hosted by Lewis & Clark College on Saturday, March 10 at Oaks Park. Willamette took first place in the women's varsity 4+, women's novice 8+, women's novice 4+ and men's varsity 4+ races.

The regatta was held in favorable conditions and the races were run head-style over 3,200 meters. Quality competition inlcuded Willamette and host Lewis & Clark, plus Portland State University and several area master's teams.

"The first five weeks of our spring season has been focused on improving aerobic conditioning and core strength, along with fine tuning of our technical skills," Willamette Head Coach Susan Parkman said. "This Saturday, what made my day, was to hear how everyone thought that their race felt strong and the boat was balanced! We are on the right path for so early in the race season."

Willamette's women's varsity 4+ led the field, with a winning time of 10:39, as the Bearcats finished 18 seconds ahead of Lewis & Clark's crew and more than a minute in front of Portland State. Members of the Willamette crew were coxswain Rebecca Ralston, Laura Jones, Kimber Grady, Ashley San Blise and Emily Mitchell.

WU's women's novice 4+ also won, completing the race in 11:52 for a nine-second victory over Lewis & Clark. Rowing for the Bearcasts were coxswain Eliza Edwards, plus Julie Vernarsky, Kirsten Barta, Hilary Andrus and Lacey Ellingson.

The women's novce 8+, remained undefeated on the academic year, as the Bearcats clocked in a 10:18 to finish 24 seconds before L&C's junior varsity entry. PSU's novice 4+ finished third. WU's novice 8+ included Edwards at coxswain, as well as Vernarsky, Barta, Andrus, Jasmine Henry, Megan Delph, Ashley Anderson, Emily Mitchell and Ellingson.

The Bearcats also took first place in the men's varsity 4+, as WU registered a time of 9:59. Lewis & Clark finished eight seconds later at 10:07. PSOU was third at 10:08. Willamette's crew was formed by coxswain Hannah Fenner, Danny Croom, Andrew Clark, Greg Henselman and Brice Miyasaki. Lewis & Clark won the men's novice 4+, as the Pioneers' novice crew was timed in 9:38 for the fastest time at the varsity or novice level.

WU took second place in the women's varisty 8+ with a time of 10:04. First place went to Lewis & Clark with a time of 9:45. The Pioneers placed seventh at last year's NCAA Championships in the women's varsity 8+.

The Willamette men's varsity 8+, competing in WU's new shell, became tangled in a fisherman'sline andhad to stop just 30 strokes from the finish. Up to that point, Willamette was battling strong. The Bearcats concluded the race in 10:16, but were well off the pace after removing their shell from the fishing line. Lewis & Clark won the race with a time of 8:32. Portland State finishedin 9:49.

Next Sunday (March 18), the Willamette rowing teams will be competing against themselves in an "Erg-a-thon" from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. (PDT), on ergometers (rowing machines) inside Cone Field House on the Willamette campus. The public is invited to cheer on the team members as they attempt to reach their fund-raising goal of $20,000:

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The Bearcats will travel on Saturday, March 24 to American Lake in Tacoma, Wash., for the 2000-meter Daffodil Regatta. Willamette will host the Governor's Cup Regatta on Saturday, April 7 on the Willamette River near Riverfront Park in downton Salem, Ore. The Governor's Cup is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. (PDT).

Rebecca's Rowing Report #1 - March 11, 2007

Willamette competed at the Behind Ross Island #2 Regatta on Saturday, March 10.

Willamette competed at the Behind Ross Island #2 Regatta on Saturday, March 10.