Lake Stevens, Wash-- For the 2nd year running, Pioneer Men's Crew won the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference Championships, and this year they did it with a first-ever win in the marquee event. The Lewis & Clark men's crew were near perfect on the day, taking a total of four race wins and running away with the points competition to take the conference title over Western Washington University and Willamette University by a commanding margin.
The Pioneer Women's team continues a strong building streak with a 5th place finish at the conference regatta, finishing behind conference champions and defending 6-time Division II NCAA Champions Western Washington University but ahead of NWC rivals Willamette University and Pacific Lutheran University.
The Pioneer Men started the day with the first ever win for Lewis & Clark in the Men's Varisty Eight, narrowly defeating Western Washington and setting the tone for a run of the top events. Pioneer Men's crew went on to take wins in the Men's Novice Four, the Men's Lightweight Four, and the Men's Varsity Four. For his efforts directing the crews Men's Lead Coach Jim Hilsentager was named the 2011 NCRC Men's Coach of the year.
The Women's team took 5th in the Women's Varisty Eight, defeating Willamette University. The Pioneers repeated 2010's success in the Novice Crews with the Pioneers first year athletes taking 3rd in both the Novice Four and Novice Eight races.
Pioneer seinors Helen Burkart and Andrew Wood were named to the 2011 NCRC All-Conference Team. Wood rowed in three winning events on the day, contributing to the Men's Varsity Eight, Lightweight Four, and Varsity Four.
"Just a great day for everyone at Lake Stevens," said head coach Sam Taylor, "We couldn't be happier for the men's team; we've won the team event a couple times but never the men's eight and to see them not only win that but three more, just a great day. All kudos to Jim and to the men's squad for the work they've done this year and the passion they bring to this team. The women' had an excellent day as well in one of the most competitive fields we've seen at the NCRC Championships in the last ten years; second through fifth in the women's eight was only separated by four seconds. While we came out on the back end of that it was a tremendous race and we're really excited for one more week to see if we can get just a bit more speed. Super excited for our novice athletes, both men and women, who represent as always the future of Pioneer Crew and did a great job today!"
Pioneer Crew has one more competition this year, with four crews traveling to the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Championships next weekend. The Men's Varsity Eight, Men's Varsity Four, Women's Varsity Eight, and Women's Varsity four will compete on April 30th and May 1st to finish out the spring season.