WU Rowers are Successful at Tough Love Ergometer Competition

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

PORTLAND, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's and women's rowing teams were successful at the Tough Love Indoor Rowing Championships on Sunday, Feb. 17 at the University of Portland. The event featured races on ergometers (rowing machines), which tested each athlete's endurance over the equivalent of a 2,000-meter course.

Willamette's accomplishments included a first place finish by Laura Jones (Sr., Boise, ID/Boise HS) in the Women's Open division. She clocked in at 7:26.8 to edge out WU teammate Hilary Andrus (So., Chimacum, WA/Chimacum HS), who took second in 7:28.8. Jones and Andrus completed the "race" roughly 20 seconds before Leslie Eddy from the University of Portland, who placed third with a time of 7:47.5.

Overall, Willamette won five events. Other winners for the Bearcats were Erica Soma (Fr., Scotts Valley, CA/Scotts Valley HS), Nathan Keffer (Fr., Santa Fe, NM/Monte Del Sol), Christina Thorburn (Fr., Boulder, CO/Niwot HS) and Kesa Sovulewski (Fr., Bozeman, MT/Bozeman HS)

Soma was victorious in the Coxswain Dash (500 meters). She recorded a time of 1:57.0 to finish 1.3 seconds ahead of Kit Crossland from Evergreen College.

Keffer won the Men's Open Novice event, finishing in 7:13.1. Willamette featured six of the seven entries in the event, with the Bearcats taking the top five places. Second place went to Luke Johnson (So., La Crosse, WI/Saint Louis Park HS) with a time of 7:21.5 and third place was earned by David Solomon (Fr., Orinda, CA/Miramonte HS) at 7:33.1.

Thorburn took first place in the Women's Open Novice "race." She was timed at 7:52.8 and led a 1-2-3 finish for the Bearcats. Geneva Hooten (Fr., Vancouver, WA/Mountain View HS) was second in 7:56.7 and Fran Clawson (Fr., Bozeman, MT/Boseman HS) was third in 7:57.2. Brittany Powers from the University of Portland was fourth at 7:59.5 and WU's Jamaica Sweet (Florence, OR/Siuslaw HS) took fifth at 8:05.0.

Sovulewski won the Women's Open Novice Lightweight event with a time of 8:19.0. Willamette's young squad provided all 11 entries in the event. Taking second was Lauren Pressler (Sr., Berkeley, CA/Bishop O'Dowd), who completed 2,000 meters in 8:35.8. Leslie Schultz (Fr., South Pasadena, CA/South Pasadena HS) was third in 8:44.9.

In the Women's Open Lightweight event, Emily Mitchell (So., Vancouver, WA/Columbia River HS) of Willamette took fourth place in 8:36.2 The winner was Nicole Lamb of Evergreen College, who was timed at 8:08.9.

WU entered two teams in the coed Relay Race. Each team included four athletes who completed 500 meters. Willamette's team of Johnson, Hooten, Solomon and Andrus took third place with a time of 6:59.5, while the team of Sovulewski, Dan Warren, Keffer and Thorburn followed in fourth place at 7:05.4. The event, which featured seven teams overall, was won by the Willamette Rowing Club in 6:29.5.

The Bearcats are scheduled to open their spring season on Saturday, March 8 at the Behind Ross Island #3 Regatta. Races are set to begin at 8 a.m. (PST).

Tough Love Indoor Rowing Championships
Laura Jones won the Women's Open competition at the Tough Love Indoor Rowing Championships.

Laura Jones won the Women's Open competition at the Tough Love Indoor Rowing Championships.