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Crew cruises to first place in Vancouver regatta

In preparation for the NCRC Championships on April 21, the Puget Sound women’s varsity crew team continued their winning ways on Saturday, taking their original Division III heat over Mills and Lewis and Clark with a time of 07:09.9. The eight-person boat then fell at the hands of Division II squad Humboldt State in the final round, but the team remains excited about its performance.

“We did really well. We hadn’t seen Lewis and Clark before, so they were kind of an unknown. It was a good fight to the finish line,” junior Rachael Mallon (Hood    River, Ore.) said.
The second varsity team precipitated the success of the varsity team. The squad won their race with a time of 7:12.90, defeating their closest competitor, Humboldt State, by over ten seconds. Mallon hopes that the success of both teams will help Puget Sound to get a direct bid from the NCAA for nationals, which will be held in New Jersey later this year. The direct bid would allow Puget Sound to take two boats to the competition, while an at-large bid would only allow one.

While the Loggers strive to earn the right to take two boats to nationals, it appears highly likely that the team will at least send the varsity boat to represent the school. The Loggers have a nine-year nationals streak and look primed to push that streak to at least ten.

“The women’s varsity 8 continued to establish itself as one of the premier Division III boats,” said. The site also has the team ranked eighth in the nation at the DIII level.
Regardless of their previous success, Mallon still feels the team has the opportunity to get even better. “We definitely have so much room to improve. To see us get first place and have so much room to improve is awesome,” Mallon said.

The men’s side also continues to improve as the 2012 season progresses. While young, the men have been able to capture some success on the water, earning a second-place victory in the four-man boat on Saturday. The Loggers finished roughly seven seconds behind winners from PLU, but held the lead for much of the race.

“A lot of things came together, we had a good start off the line and we were all really pulling through the finish,” sophomore Brendan Trosper (Healdsburg, Calif.) said.
Just as the women’s team continues to improve, Trosper says the Loggers have yet to fully realize their potential. The team is laden with sophomores and freshmen, with only three upper classmen on the entire team.

“We have so much more to learn and improve upon. Each week we’re just getting faster and faster,” Trosper said. He also added that the entirety of the varsity team is composed of sophomores and that the freshmen class is stocked with athletes and has a bright future ahead of it.

While the NCAA does not officially recognize them as a DIII team, the Logger men still continue to strive for excellence on the water, and hope to take down PLU head-to-head next Saturday at American Lake. The women will also compete against the Lutes, further preparation for the NCRC championships.

The team aims to “work on cohesion as a boat, getting used to rowing with the same guys,” Trosper said. Hopefully as the Loggers gain more experience the good results will continue to flow, just as they have for the women.