Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
SARASOTA, Fla. - The Northwest Conference Champion Pacific Lutheran University women's rowing team capped off its season on Saturday morning, placing seventh overall at the 2018 NCAA Division III Championships at Nathan Benderson Park.
"Both boats we able to compete especially early in their races and really what we had was some residual fatigue and that's the hard part about the championships. If you don't place straight to the Grand Final you have that extra difficult race and with the schedule getting pushed back a couple hours made things even more challenging. The rest time lessened quite a bit but at the same time that's part of racing and the championships and you just need to roll with it," said Head Coach Andy Foltz.
"The things we can control is our attitude and our effort and this weekend we certainly showed a great resolve being able to control those controlables."
The day opened with the 2V8+, winners of yesterday's repechage race, finishing sixth overall in the 2V Grand Final, covering 2,000-meters of open water in seven minutes, 18.33 seconds. A crew from eventual national champion Bates College took top honors in the race, crossing the finish line in 6:52.04.
The Lutes' 1V8+ tallied similar results, placing sixth in the 1V Grand Final, crossing the finish in 7:01.62. Bates took top honors in the 1V race as well, securing the title after traversing the course in 6:40.71.
The Lutes scored 31 total points between the two races to log a seventh place finish for the squad's second top eight national finish in the last three seasons. PLU finished fourth at the 2016 edition. Bates took the national crown for the second consecutive season after scoring 56 points while Wellesley College tallied a runner-up finish after amassing 45 points.
Saturday's racing capped off the rowing careers of seniors Jessica Christensen, Camille Lemke, and Hannah Walling who all crewed the 2V8+. Under their stead, the Lutes have won three NWC titles and have emerged as the premier Division III rowing program on the West Coast.
"This senior class is a special one for me. They were freshman when I first started at PLU and they have done some really amazing things and it's a great treat to have them have some good racing. All three of our seniors were in the 2V that won the rep last night and for those seniors to get a win at the national championships, regardless of the race, is huge. It was a great treat that they earned and worked hard for."
"We're excited about next year already. We have some ideas and ways to move up and get back on the podium like we did in 2016. We have a great group of returners and women at home ready to push to the next level."