Pioneers face off against conference rivals in first regatta of the season, men’s varsity four takes first

Pioneers face off against conference rivals in first regatta of the season, men’s varsity four takes first

LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers took on conference rivals Pacific Lutheran, Puget Sound, and Pacific on American Lake to kick off their first official race of the season. Almost all rowers raced twice in multiple lineups. The men's team raced a varsity four and eight, as well as a lightweight four and novice four. The women's team was able to put out two mixed varsity and novice eights, as well as two fours of novice and novice lightweights.

The men's varsity four led the charge with a first place finish in their final, all 5 members of which were in the varsity eight that took second place earlier in the day. The four consisting of Zach Dworkin, Jack Heppner, Owen Wholforth, Nick Campen, and senior coxswain Maggie Coit finished in a time of 7:08.8, 15 seconds ahead of Puget Sound and 22 seconds ahead of PLU. With Coit coxing, Dworkin, Campen, Wholforth, and Heppner also comprised the stern four of the men's varsity eight, followed by Quinn Vinlove, Soren Gotschall, Jamie Valtin, and Kyle Mezrahi. The eight was the first race of the day, and the Pios placed a close second, sprinting to within two and a half seconds of the Loggers, and twelve seconds ahead of the Lutes.

The men's novice four was third of three after struggling with a few crabs early in the race, but finished with a strong sprint. Christian Ermann stroked for the novices, then doubled up in the lightweight four which also finished third of three. The novice race was the first full sprint race for Ermann, Alberto Partida, and Sherlock Ortiz.

The women's team had strong internal performances, rowing two mixed varsity and novice eights which took third of three and second of two respectively. The women's novice four and lightweight novice four similarly had solid rows, with the openweight novices beating Pacific by over 30 seconds.

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Key Moments

The Pioneers had nine freshman from the women's team and five freshman on the men's team race their first on-water two-thousand meter sprint of their careers. Christian Ermann, Soren Gotschall, Alberto Partida, Sherlock Ortiz, and Shaina Zins raced for the men, while Kat Altaffer, Mia Babasyan, Sofia Green, Amanda Hendrickson, Sarah Lind-MacMillan, Kess Moulton, Catherine Pendleton-Wheeler, Tiffani Wong, and Lindsay Woodward raced for the first time on the women's squad.

The men's varsity team had the strongest performances of the day with a first place finish in the four and a second place finish in the eight. Both boats were able to make significant moves during the sprint in the last 500m of the course, with the eight closing the gap on an open water lead to overlap by a few seats. The men's varsity four participated in the rowing tradition of throwing their coxswain into the water after a first place finish, tossing Maggie Coit into American Lake at the end of the regatta.

Deeper Look

  • The Pioneers have a young squad, with 14 novices racing a two thousand meter sprint for the first time at the Logger Invite
  • Freshmen Jack Heppner and Soren Gotschall lead the men's team in erg scores for the season with the top two times for a two thousand meter test
  • Zach Dworkin returned from an injury to stroke both the men's varsity four and eight
  • Kat Altaffer, Mia Babsyan, and Shaina Zins all coxed their first sprint races at Logger Invite
  • Natalie Stroud leads the women's team on the ergs with the top two thousand meter score followed closely by freshman-novice Kess Moulton

Looking Ahead

The Pioneers head to Seattle on Sat., Mar. 30 to compete at the Husky Open. Racing starts at 9am.