Willamette Rowers Head to Dexter Lake for NCRC Championships

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Athletes on the Willamette University men's and women's rowing teams are set for an exciting day of competition at the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference (NCRC) Championship Regatta on Saturday, April 21 at Dexter Lake near Eugene, Ore.

The Bearcats are ready to continue their fierce rivalry with the University of Puget Sound in the women's varsity 8+, while adding to rivalries with all of the NCRC crews in a variety of events.

Willamette is scheduled to compete in seven events overall.

The women's varsity 8+ always draws plenty of attention because the WV8+ is the primary event used to determine which teams are selected for the NCAA Division III National Championships. Puget Sound has become a perennial power in Division III and Willamette is typically the Loggers' top rival in the Northwest. Willamette received an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships in 2009.

Although the Bearcats have not defeated Puget Sound in the WV8+ this spring, they have been competitive with the Loggers, as both teams have recorded fast times during the season. Willamette's WV8+ seeks to create an edge over the Loggers this weekend.

Competing for WU in the WV8+ will be coxswain Blair Davis, stroke Jessie Lovell, 7-seat Marguex Hunter, 6-seat Lea Griggs, 5-seat Kate Pfeiffer, 4-seat Karina Hoogstede, 3-seat Anna Fredendall, 2-seat Kira Egelhofer and bow Gwen Hryciw.

Willamette also should be strong in the men's and women's fours. The Bearcats have recorded quality results throughout the fours this spring. WU has crews entered in the WV4+, W2V4+ and WN4+ as well as the MV4+, M2V4+ and MN4+. The Bearcats won the WN4+ during the Covered Bridge Regatta at Dexter Lake last weekend.

The WN4+ will feature the same lineup as last weekend when the Bearcats race on Saturday. Rachel Robinson will be the coxswain, with Allison Claypool-Conrad at 4-seat, Nina Berger at 3-seat, Fredendall at 2-seat and Egelhofer at bow.

While much of Willamette's focus will be on its NCAA Division III foes in the NCRC -- Puget Sound, Pacific Lutheran University and Lewis & Clark College -- the Bearcats also will be seeking to match the NCAA Division II boats from Western Washington University, Humboldt State University and Seattle Pacific University.

The seven-team NCRC is a very strong conference with four nationally ranked teams and three teams on the verge of the national rankings. In Division II, Western Washington is ranked #1, Humboldt State is #3 and Seattle Pacific is tied for #8. In Division III, Puget Sound is ranked #10, while Lewis & Clark, Pacific Lutheran and Willamette all received votes in this weeks' poll.

In the cMax ratings for the WV8+ in Division III, Puget Sound is ranked #11, Willamette is #13, Lewis & Clark is #14 and Pacific Lutheran is #17. n the Pacific Region of Division III, Puget Sound has the top rated WV8+, with Willamette ranked second and L&C ranked third.

2012 NCRC
Championship Regatta
Dexter Lake
Eugene, Ore.
April 21
The Bearcats will compete in seven events at the NCRC Championship Regatta.

The Bearcats will compete in seven events at the NCRC Championship Regatta.