Pioneer Men third, Women fourth at NCRC Championships

Pioneer Men third, Women fourth at NCRC Championships


Dispatch from Head Coach Sam Taylor:
Photo courtesy of Mike Modlin, Row2k

LAKE STEVENS, Wash. - What an incredible day of racing for the Pioneer Crew at the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference Championships.  Almost every athlete in our program came home with a medal today and many had two; both the men and the women raced competitively in every event we entered and all of our boats finished 4th or better.  We medaled a total of eight crews, four for the women and four for the men.  In the final points we finished third on the Men's side behind Western Washington and Puget Sound, and fourth on the women's side behind Western, Humboldt State, and Puget Sound.

The Pioneer Men's team opened the day with a strong third place in the Varsity Eight, just ahead of Humboldt.  It was by far our best piece this year in the eight, which is a theme of our program- have the best race when it counts the most.  The guys followed that up with a fourth place in the 2V4, and a solid third in the Novice Four.  The Pioneer Men's pair, with seniors Teddy Stenmark and Kent Tubbs aboard, pulled through for the only win on the day, charging hard to the line to finish ahead of the Humboldt State pair.  The Men's Varsity Four took to the water at the end of the day and had a tremendous heater of a race- Western, Seattle Pacific, and our guys took off from that field and went stroke for stroke all the way to the line, coming across in that order but within two seconds.  In addition to Stenmark and Tubbs senior coxswain Conrad Foord and varsity eight bow seat Ellis Blanchard finished their rowing careers in the medals today.

The Pioneer Women opened the day with a tremendously hard-fought race in the Varsity Eight, just like at WIRA going down the course trading strokes with Pacific Lutheran University.  This time we held on- just barely at the line- to take fourth place, ahead of PLU and behind winner Western Washington, Puget Sound, and Humboldt.  It's the highest finish for our women's Varsity Eight since 2008 and a testament to the hard work put in by all the athletes, including seniors Katie Wilson, Sarah Poggi, and Laura Nash.

The Pioneer 2nd Novice Four came down next, also taking a third place finish.  The 1st Novice four was in a dogfight for places and came down in fourth place, followed by Poggi & Wilson in the Pair who managed to hold of a hard-charging Western crew for a  silver medal finish.  The Pioneer Varsity Four raced a very strong piece to take third place, just ahead of Puget Sound and behind winner Humboldt and Western.  And the future of our program took to the water last, with the Pioneer Novice Women's eight holding tenaciously on to Humboldt's stern to take a tremendous 2nd place, which as far as I can remember is our best-ever placing in that event.

Again, just a tremendous day of racing and perhaps one of the best team-wide performances I can recall in my time at Lewis & Clark.  The team is already talking about making improvements and coming back to do even better in 2014!  I'm very proud of the seniors who have put their years in making this program better, and I'm sure are off to do even more amazing things in their lives to come.