WWU Vikings

All three WWU entries advance to grand finals at WIRA Championships

All three Western Washington University women's rowing entries advanced to grand finals at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships which began Saturday, Apr. 25, at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center on Lake Natoma.

The grand finals take place Sunday morning, Apr. 26.

Both the Vikings’ varsity eight and varsity four were victorious in their heats, and the junior varsity eight placed second.

The varsity four won by 1.2 seconds over runner-up Humboldt State and the varsity eight prevailed over second-place Orange Coast. Both of those heats were five-boat races.

The junior varsity eight was second to UC San Diego in a six-boat field.

“It was a great day of racing,” said WWU head coach John Fuchs. “Ultimately the goal was to get to the grand finals and they did that, and they won a couple of heats which is always nice.”

“I think it’s going to be close racing right across the board on Sunday. Whoever rows the best and wants it the most will win, and hopefully that’s us.”

WWU was ranked No.3 in this week's Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/USRowing NCAA Division II Poll. Two of the other DII top six rated teams are at the WIRA regatta. They are No.2 and defending NCAA II national champion Humboldt State and No.6 UC San Diego.

Last year at the WIRA meet, WWU’s varsity four placed first and the varsity eight was second. That snapped a three-year, gold-medal winning string for the varsity eight, while the varsity four won for the third time in four years.