WWU's four-person rowing team places first at WIRA Championships

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDApril 27, 2014 

Western Washington University's varsity four won and the varsity eight placed second in two six-boat grand finals Sunday at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships held at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center on Lake Natoma.

WWU took the four race by 6.29 seconds over runner-up Humboldt State with a time of 7:47.03 over the 2,000-meter course. The Vikings' eight finished second, 6.64 seconds behind Humboldt State, which had a 6:52.90 clocking.

WWU's four won gold for the third time in four years at the WIRA regatta, while the eight had a three-year grand final winning streak snapped. Both boats did not compete at the 2010 meet after each placed first in 2009.

WWU entered the WIRA regatta ranked No.2 in the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/USRowing NCAA Division II Poll and Humboldt State was No.4. Two weeks ago, the Vikings' eight finished second to NCAA I Portland at the Covered Bridge Regatta, but crossed the finish line over five seconds ahead of fourth-place Humboldt State.

WWU has been the West Region representative at nationals for the last 10 years and 11 of 12 seasons overall, being an at-large entry the other year. The Vikings won seven straight national titles from 2005 to 2011, a record for all NCAA rowing divisions.

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