Calm water, relatively warm weather, and a slight head wind provided ideal conditions for the Daffodil regatta today at American Lake. The Men’s Crew team took advantage of the unusually sweet weather and showed spectators what hard work and dedication can do for a small sport club such as WWU Men’s Crew.
The second event of the day, the men’s varsity 8, was the first race of the season for the team. University of Oregon and Pacific Lutheran clashed oars at the start causing a breakage penalty only 250 meters in for U of O, releasing them from the race. After waiting over half an hour, through the women’s varsity 8 races and for a new oar for PLU, the men’s varsity 8 was lined up and ready once again to challenge UPS, WSU, PLU and WU. The first 100 meters of the race presented no obvious leader but within 250 meters WWU had pulled forward in their high twenty at 44 strokes per minute. Coxswain Zac “Attack” Johnson, dominated the airwaves with an aggressive push to get his boat ahead, calling out “power tens” and “focus tens”. Stroke seat Nolan Shinn, lead his team into a steady 34 spm cadence for the first 750 meters furthering the lead on the other teams. At the thousand meter mark, the men’s V8 made their move to solidify an unyielding, two boat lengths of open water on the teams. With 500 meters to go, the strokes per minute bumped up to 36 sending the V8 closer and closer to the finish line. PLU came in second place with a time of 6:13:56 and WSU third with a time of 6:18:97. WWU placed first with open water at 5:57:28.
Little time passed before the novice 4 was off the block and competing against WSU A, SPU, UPS, and WSU B. Having only spring break to polish their raw strength into an efficient four, the novice pulled out a solid win with a five second lead on Seattle Pacific (SPU) who clocked in at 7:10:54. Washington State’s A boat came in third with a time of 7:25:92. The novice 4 was very excited to have their first win and first race under their belt. Coxswain Mackenzie Popovich commanded the novice four to a win at 7:05:72.
The only, yet major let down of the day came for the varsity four who were eager to race their competitors in the Men’s Varsity 4 event. Due to time conflicts from the breakage penalty on U of O in the V8 race, the V4 was unable to get their racing shell from the novice 4 in time to compete. Although bummed about missing the event, the four is excited to challenge their competition in the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference invite on April 7th.
The men’s novice 8 had a successful first race of the season, coming in close second to WSU. Western’s novice 8 and Washington State’s novice 8 both jumped off the line at break-neck speed battling it out all the way down the course. WSU pulled ahead at the first 500 meter mark and maintained the lead over their competitors all the way through the race. Western’s novice 8 picked up the pace near the last 500 meter mark steadily moving up on WSU. Western placed second at 6:18:05 only 4 seconds back from WSU’s 6:14:91. This event was a close race for both teams in a 4 boat race and another success for Mackenzie, novice cox.
The next event for WWU Men’s Crew was the second varsity 4 event where the JV 4 took a very large lead on WSU, SPU, and PLU. The JV4 left nothing in the tanks and released the beast in the first 500 meters rowing at a steady 34 strokes per minute. To widen the gap even further, Zac coxed the crew to 38 strokes per minute in the last 500 meters where Western took first with a time of 6:53:63.
For the last event of the day, Mackenzie coxed Western’s second novice 8 through a challenging race with WSU’s and UPS’ second varsity 8 boats. WWU men’s second novice 8 did well staying in-line with varsity rowers. They placed third at 6:57:41 while WSU placed first at 6:29:26, and UPS second at 6:48:45.
All in all Western Men’s Crew team were in high spirits from their performance and are looking forward to the rest of the racing season! For a complete list of results of the Daffodil cup click here. Check out or schedule to find out when and where the next races will be held.