Willamette Rowing Shows Solid Effort at Portland Fall Classic

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

VANCOUVER, WASH. -- The Willamette University men's and women's rowing teams opened the 2011-12 competitive season with a solid showing in four events at the Portland Fall Classic, hosted by the Station L Rowing Club, the Rose City Rowing Club and the Portland Boathouse on Sunday, Oct. 30. The races were moved to Vancouver Lake in Vancouver, Wash., due to bridge construction in Portland.

"All around I was really pleased," Willamette Interim Head Coach Ryan Miller said.

The course went in a horseshoe shape around the edge of Vancouver Lakes. Races were 5,000 meters for college, open, junior and masters 8+'s, 4+'s and 2x's. It rained increasingly during the early races on Sunday morning, but the rain eventually stopped, allowing for better weather later in the regatta.

Willamette placed fifth in the women's collegiate varsity 8+. The four finishers in front of the Bearcats were from NCAA Division I -- Washington State University, Oregon State University, Gonzaga University and the University of Portland.

WSU won the WCV8+ with a time of 18:03.78. Oregon State followed in second at 18:11.04, while Gonzaga was third at 19:14.36. Portland placed fourth in 19:50.88. The Bearcats ended the race less than 10 seconds behind the Pilots, over 52 seconds in front of conference rival Lewis & Clark College and well over a minute in front of Seattle University. The Bearcats earned a time of 20:00.43, while L&C finished in 20:52.61 and Seattle achieved a time of 21:26.23.

Willamette and Lewis & Clark both compete in the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference (NCRC).

"That was really a statement of our preparation and our fitness," Miller said regarding the WV8+ finishing so far in front of L&C. "I couldn't ask for anything else right now."

The Bearcats took third place in the women's collegiate/open novice 8+. University of Portland won the race in 21:11.28, while Lewis & Clark was second at 21:40.40. Willamette's time was 22:25.19. Portland State University was fourth in 25:16.59 and the L&C "B" boat was fifth in 25:49.57. The race featured a total of seven boats.

In the men's collegiate/open novice 8+ race, the Bearcats claimed second place behind the winning boat from Gonzaga, which registered a time of 18:05.56. Willamette's time was 21:04.29. The University of Oregon took third place in 22:03.01 and Seattle was fourth in 26:38.15.

Willamette rowed unopposed in the men's collegiate 2-. The Bearcats achieved a time of 22:30.21.

The Portland Fall Classic was the only competitive event on the fall schedule for the Willamette rowing teams. The Bearcats will return to action in the spring.


Portland Fall Classic
Willamette River
Portland, Ore.
October 30, 2011

Willamette competed in four events at the Portland Fall Classic, including the women's novice 8+ and the women's varsity 8+.

Willamette competed in four events at the Portland Fall Classic, including the women's novice 8+ and the women's varsity 8+.