VANCOUVER, Wash. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers opened the spring competitive season against a variety of schools on Saturday.
The Lewis & Clark men's varsity four won a close race with Pacific Lutheran, overtaking the Lutes in the final 250 meters. The Pios won in 7:16.6, about three seconds faster than PLU. Lewis & Clark's novice boat also beat that of the Lutes. Pacific Lutheran won the frosh/novice eight race.
In the women's varsity eight, Lewis & Clark fell behind early before closing in on the field to finish within a second of NCAA Division I Seattle. At 7:26.1, the Pioneers were a length back from the defending Northwest Conference champion Pacific Lutheran (7:20.8). Seattle finished in 7:25.1.
"A good first outing for us," said head coach Sam Taylor. "Most importantly, all the crews got a great chance to do a full 2000-meter piece on a great racecourse in great conditions. It was really good to get the novice group down the course the first time."
The course conditions on Vancouver Lake were listed as "light and variable headwind, totally flat water."
"Our guys were within a seat or two until 250 meters to go and executed a really sharp sprint to take the win by almost a length," said Taylor of the men's varsity four race. "It was a very well done, mature piece of racing for this time of year.
"Our varsity women's eight missed a couple strokes on the start and were down early, but managed to put together a decent body of the race and get within a second Seattle U. They had a really good piece. The crew has a good combination of youth and experience. They'll get better as the season goes on."
Lewis & Clark's women's varsity four trailed Portland and Seattle with a time of 8:53.9.
The Pios have two competitions left before the Northwest Conference Championships in late April. Next weekend, the teams will compete at the Blue Heron Regatta in California.