Willamette Women's Varsity Eight+ Chosen for NCAA Championship

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette women's varsity eight+ has been chosen for an at-large berth into the NCAA Division III Rowing Championship Regatta, set for May 29-31 at Cooper River in Camden, N.J. Willamette will be competing at the NCAA National Championship for the first time.

“We’re extremely pleased at this first-ever opportunity for our rowing program," said Mark Majeski, Willamette athletics director. "The hard work, dedication and perseverance exhibited by the rowers, Head Coach Susan Parkman and her staff have been validated. We look forward to a great NCAA Championship experience.”

A total of 16 boats will race at the NCAA Championships. Seven teams will be represented by two eights apiece, while the two at-large entries, Willamette and Washington College (Md.), will each enter one eight. The teams with two boats will compete for the team championship, while all 16 boats will be eligible to win the individual title.

Team entries went to Bates College (Maine), Ithaca College (N.Y.), the University of Puget Sound, St. Lawrence University (N.Y.), Smith College (Mass.), Trinity College (Conn.) and Williams College (Mass.).

"The NCAA berth reflects the growth of our entire team, as there is no way we could be where we are today without every member of our team pushing each other to be their best," Parkman said. "We appreciate this wonderful opportunity for Willamette University's young crew and we look forward to competing against the best in the country!"

Willamette's WV8+ is ranked #8 in NCAA Division III by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA). Earlier this spring, the Bearcats tied Puget Sound for second place in the women's overall standings at the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference (NCRC) Championships.

The Bearcats have excelled despite having no seniors on the team. Sophomore coxswain Erica Soma (Scotts Valley, CA/Scotts Valley HS) is the team captain and junior Hilary Andrus (Chimacum, WA/Chimacum HS) is the co-captain.

The Willamette women's varsity eight+ will compete at the NCAA Championship Regatta.

The Willamette women's varsity eight+ will compete at the NCAA Championship Regatta.