WU Women's 4+ Places 11th at Head of the Charles Regatta

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

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. -- Willamette University took 11th place out of 34 entries in the Women's Collegiate 4+ race at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta on Saturday, Oct. 18. The Bearcats also finished 21st out of 31 shells in the Men's Collegiate 4+ race to complete Willamette's action on the first of two days of competition. All results are currently unofficial.

WU will conclude its participation in this year's Head of the Charles on Sunday, when the Women's Lightweight 4+ will row at 2:25 p.m. (EDT).

The Bearcats earned their 11th-place finish in the Women's Collegiate 4+ with a time of 20:00.093. WU received a 10-second penalty during the race, which ultimately cost the crew a Top 10 finish. Skidmore College took 10th in 19:58.223.

"They were within five seconds of last year's time (when WU took 5th place in the WC4+)," Willamette Head Coach Susan Parkman said. "It was an excellent course, just smooth power throughout.

"It was windy at times," Parkman added. "We had a good race.":

The Western Rowing Club won the WC4+ race in 18:54.730. Simmons College (Mass.) claimed second place in 19:02.926 and William Smith College was third at 19:09.965. The College of William & Mary place fourth with a time of 19:27.667. Georgia Tech Rowing finished fifth after completing the race in 19:34.644.

Rowing for Willamette in the women's fours were stroke Geneva Hooten (So., Vancouver, WA/Mountain View HS), three-seat Jamaica Sweet (So., Florence, OR/Siuslaw HS), two-seat Kesa Sovulewski (So., Bozeman, MT/Bozeman HS) and bow Julie Vernarsky (So., Three Forks, MT/Enterprise HS). The coxswain was Ariana Orford (Fr., Brush Prairie, WA/University of Washington).

In the Men's Collegiate 4+ race, the University of Michigan (club) was the winner in 16:26.721. Trinity College (Conn.) placed second in 16:27.281 and Fordham University was third at 16:28.949. Trinity is ranked #1 in the nation among NCAA Division III teams.

Willamette's time in the MC4+ was 18:14.236. WU's crew included stroke Colton Miller (Fr., Pilot Hill, CA/San martin HS), three-seat John Schmidtbauer (So., Whittier, CA/Whittier HS), two-seat Joel Ribbens (So., Kenai, AK/Nikiski HS), bow Marc Whitehead (So., Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS) and coxswain Linnea Schuster (So., Honolulu, HI/Punahou School).

"I was very proud of them," Parkman said regarding her MC4+ crew. "It was an incredibly tough field. The guys had a really good race.

Both teams appreciated the work of the coxswains and the support of Willamette President M. Lee Pelton, parents and fans.

"They were very pleased with the courses of the coxswains," Parkman noted, adding that Dr. Pelton greeted both teams at the finish line. "It was great to see him do that. They were really excited."

The collegiate races at the Head of the Charles include crews from NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and collegiate club teams. The Women's Lightweight 4+ set for Sunday will be an open race, featuring non-collegiate crews as well as collegiate rowing teams and clubs.

Geneva Hooten rowed stroke for Willamette in the Women's Collegiate 4+ at the Head of the Charles Regatta.

Geneva Hooten rowed stroke for Willamette in the Women's Collegiate 4+ at the Head of the Charles Regatta.

Willamette President M. Lee Pelton greeted the Bearcats at the finish line.

Willamette President M. Lee Pelton greeted the Bearcats at the finish line.