Willamette Finishes Fourth in WV8+, Second in W2V8+, in Grand Finals at WIRA Championships

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

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. -- The Willamette University women's varsity eight+ finished in fourth place, and the women's second varsity eight+ claimed second place, in grand finals at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championship Regatta at Lake Natoma on Sunday, May 3. WU also competed in the grand final of the women's lightweight four+ and the third final of the men's varsity eight+ on the final day of the regatta.

Western Washington University won the WV8+ in 6:56.6, while the University of Puget Sound finished a close second at 6:57.2. Seattle Pacific University was third at 7:01.9, followed by Willamette in fourth at 7:06.3, Orange Coast College in fifth at 7:12.2 and Humboldt State University in sixth at 7:20.1

In the W2V8+, Puget Sound won by completing the race in 7:17.8. Willamette was second at 7:31.5 and held a reasonable margin over Orange Coast College in third at 7:39.1. Pacific Lutheran finished fourth at 7:45.8, Humboldt State was fifth at 8:01.2, the University of California-San Diego was sixth at 8:11.5 and Mill College was seventh at 8:23.2.

Willamette continued it's string of solid performances in the women's eights this spring. WU placed second in the grand final of the women's lightweight eight+ on Saturday with a time of 7:16.8 behind the University of California at 7:06.6.

The Bearcats, who have established themselves as the top team to challenge the University of Puget Sound in the Pacific Region of NCAA Division III, will find out if they are selected for the NCAA Championship Regatta when selections are announced on May 12. The NCAA Championships are set for May 29-31 at Cooper River in Camden, N.J.

The Bearcats took sixth in the grand final of the women's lightweight four+ at the WIRA Championships on Sunday. The 'Cats finished second in the third final of the men's varsity eight+.

In the WL4+, Willamette's time was 8:30.4, as WU concluded the race just 4.3 second out of fourth place. The top three shells were from California (7:45.6), Western Washington (7:52.5) and Long Beach State University (8:14.7). A total of seven teams competed in the grand final.

Arizona State University won the third final of the MV8+, with Willamette in second and Long Beach State in third. San Diego State University placed fourth and Pacific Lutheran University was fifth. Official times were not yet available.

Two WU athletes earned Second Team All-WIRA honors. They were Kara Hafkey (So., Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) from the Willamette women's lightweight eight+ and Leslie Schultz (So., South Pasadena, CA/South Pasadena HS) from the Bearcat women's second varsity eight+. Hafkey and Schultz led their respective crews to second place finishes in the grand finals.

COMPLETE RESULTS
WIRA Championships
Lake Natoma, Sacramento, Calif.
May 2-3, 2009

Scroll down in document for Sunday's results.
The Willamette women's varsity eight+, shown earlier this year, took fourth in the grand final at the WIRA Championships.

The Willamette women's varsity eight+, shown earlier this year, took fourth in the grand final at the WIRA Championships.