Winning five of seven races competed in, including a triumph in the featured varsity eight, the Western Washington University women's rowing team was back on top of the podium at the 13th annual Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference Championships held Saturday on Lake Stevens.
The Vikings, ranked No.1 nationally in the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, triumphed at the NCRC meet for the eighth time in nine years after having a seven-year winning streak snapped by Humboldt State last spring.
WWU won with 94 points, 15 more than Humboldt State (79), the defending national champion. Puget Sound was third in the seven-team field with 45 points.
The Vikings easily captured the varsity eight event, covering the 2,000-meter course in 6:47.10. That was two boat lengths ahead of Puget Sound (6:57.60). Humboldt State was third (7:02.90).
The Vikings also took the second varsity eight (7:40.70), novice four (8:03.50) and lightweight four (7:58.10) races.
WWU, which won all four of its races at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta last week, now awaits official confirmation of another trip to nationals on Monday, April 20. The Vikings are expected to be named the West Region representative for the 10th consecutive year. They placed second at nationals in 2012 after winning seven straight national titles, the longest string in any NCAA rowing division.