Twice is Nice: Toreros Repeat as WCC Champions

April 29, 2011

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.- There was a feeling of déjà vu at the conclusion of this year's West Coast Conference rowing championship on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif. on Friday morning. The University of San Diego women's rowing team was in this position a year ago on these same waters: atop the leaderboard. Except this year the Toreros captured their second-consecutive WCC title with a clean sweep of the three championship races on the day and again topped Gonzaga on the water and in the point totals. USD tallied 36 overall points on the day, while Gonzaga had 30, Saint Mary's 24, Creighton 16, Loyola Marymount 14 and Santa Clara five.

While it may be too soon to call it a changing of the guard in the conference's competitive landscape, USD is clearly making its presence known as a force to be reckoned with in WCC rowing. Having knocked Gonzaga off its perch as the conference's winningest program at least year's WCCs by winning two of the three races and finishing second in the third, USD became the first team other than the Bulldogs to win multiple WCC crowns with their victory on Friday.

"I'm so proud of our effort," said USD head coach Kim Cupini, who was named WCC Coach of the Year for the third-straight year. "It's always a challenge - especially now as the WCC has gotten stronger. We were able to show the full depth of our program, winning all three races for the first time."

"Today's West Coast Conference win goes to the team in its entirety," commented 2011 WCC Coxswain of the Year, senior Allyn DeLozier, who won the award for the second-straight year. "This is the first time in USD history that every boat has swept the regatta and this is an obvious testament to the excellent training from the coaching staff and the team's ability to unite and work together."



Despite the mid-60s temperatures and the clear skies, competitors had to battle a fierce crosswind out of the northwest gusting around 20 mph throughout the morning. However, the challenging conditions did not prevent USD's varsity 4 from getting things started off right for the Toreros. Pushing through a wall of wind, the varsity 4 remained by Gonzaga's side for most of the race, but eventually clawed its way to a 7:58.8 winning time, finishing nearly a boat length ahead of the Bulldogs, who came in at 8:01.8. Saint Mary's (8:30.5), WCC-newcomer Creighton (8:49.4) and Loyola Marymount (9:14.3) rounded out the rest of the 4V field.

The Toreros' second varsity 8 set out to match the 4's strong finish, however they came out of the start slowly, trailing much of the field through the first 1000m. With a determination that defines this year's USD squad the 2V8 unleashed a momentous push during the third 500m to overtake Gonzaga and close out the victory in open water, finishing at 7:09.5, nearly five seconds ahead of the Bulldogs (7:14.1). Saint Mary's came in third at 7:23.0, followed by Creighton (7:32.8), Loyola Marymount (7:34.7) and Santa Clara (7:36.4).

Seeing the WCC title within their grasp, USD launched the varsity 8, the final race of the Championship, with Gonzaga determined to ruin the Toreros' potential three-race sweep. Over the first 1000m it looked as if the Bulldogs would succeed in this as USD trailed ¾ of a boat length to Gonzaga thanks to a powerful start by the Zags. But the Toreros had something to prove and gradually, stroke-by-stroke, inched to within two seats of Gonzaga within the final 500m. With the finish line looming and a WCC trophy as motivation, the Toreros pulled ahead of Gonzaga to seal the sweep with a half-boat length edge as they crossed the finish line. USD clocked a time of 6:56.9, while the Bulldogs came in at 6:58.5. Saint Mary's (7:23.0), Creighton (7:32.8), Loyola Marymount (7:34.7) and Santa Clara (7:36.4) followed as the WCC Championship came to a close.

"It really came together at the 1000m mark when our jockey, Allyn DeLozier, said to us, `The 2V and 4 won their races and now it's our turn!' This was an amazing team win and couldn't have been done without the 50+ Lady Torero rowers, supportive alumni, die-hard family members and one-of-a kind coaching staff," said senior Gina Schneider, who was named to the All-WCC team for the first time in her career after the race. "I've never felt so proud to be a Torero!"

"Today was monumental for our program and I feel so honored to be a part of a team that is on the rise to do even greater things," added Taylor Caldwell, an All-WCC performer for her first time as well. "As a senior, I am beyond confident that my teammates will use this victory as fuel for next year to excel further, making the University of San Diego a name to be recognized."

"Today, we did what we trained all year to do," said senior Hannah Patrick, who took home her third-career All-WCC nod. "We raced with complete commitment and gratitude. Commitment to being our fastest and gratitude for the ability to be here and compete with the other West Coast Conference teams. It has been an amazing season leading up to this race."

"Four years ago I sat and watched another team sweep the conference," said senior Marilyn Smith, a member of the varsity 8 boat. "It's incredible to me that in such a short time our team has accomplished so much and I am so grateful to have been a part of it."

USD will now turn its sights to the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association regatta set to begin Saturday morning on Lake Natoma and concluding on Sunday afternoon. The Toreros look to repeat their performance at last year's WIRAs when they finished as the top Division I squad in the event. Visit the WIRA Home Page for a complete race schedule and results.

WCC Women's Rowing Championships
Friday, April 29, 2011

Lake Natoma (Rancho Cordova, California)

Final Standings

San Diego, 36
Gonzaga, 30

Saint Mary's, 24

 Creighton, 16

Loyola Marymount, 14

 Santa Clara, 5

I Four Race Official Results

1. San Diego, 7:58.8
(cox: Kristin Jones; Victoria Ross; Melanie Lucas-Conwell; Lauren Rollins; Hannah Whitney)
2. Gonzaga, 8:01.8
(cox: Jordan Schroeder; Corrine Gould; Madison Keaty; Alex Pollastro; Renee Wyman) 

3. Saint Mary's, 8:30.5 
(cox: Kaila Garza; Ann Boyd; Brandy Cho; Olivia Hua; Chelsea Serrano)

4. Creighton, 8:49.4 
(cox: Kristina Ward; Katie Daugherty; Tayler Davis; Morgan McEnery; Molly Meister)

5. Loyola Marymount, 9:14.3 
(cox: Olivia Eischeneer; Uzuri Amandla; Jennifer Boucher; Kiana Otsuka; Allie Shorin)

II Eight Race Official Results

1. San Diego, 7:09.5
(cox: Kaitlin Soper; Maggie Cole; Lindsey Dornes; Stephanie Jegat; Brittany Johnson; Nichole Norby; Lisa O'Toole; Jennifer Travis; Hannah Ward)

 2. Gonzaga, 7:14.1
(cox: Nicky Talkington; Grace Ditzler; Tayler Drake; Olivia Miller; Courtney Norris; Agatha Oleksiak; Christine Powers; Maryssa Thompson; Therese Yranni)

3. Saint Mary's 7:24.2
(cox: Lisa Wickheim; Rachel Alvarez; Taylor Balian; AnaKarina Castrillo; Maryann Concannon; Alex Iwaszewicz; Nathalie Lambrecht; Jillian Parlee; Nicolette Pierantoni)

4. Loyola Marymount 7:32.3
(cox: Jen Koester; Cassidy Baine; P.K. Carey-Jones; Danielle Ciraulo; Ku'ulei Lake; Elizabeth LaLonde; Harriet Russell; Kerry Small; Ally Wilches) 

5. Creighton 7:44.4
(cox: Hayley Pilcher; Whitney Jenich; Nicole Kamada; Maggie Miller; Kathryn Mindt; Christina Moore; Lauren Roknich; Hilary Van Noort; Laura Jo Washle)

6. Santa Clara 8:03.8
(cox: Brittany Meyer; Vanessa Delgado; Kayla Edquilane; Berkeley Fial; Melissa Giorgi; Melanie Lara; Cora Lemar; Samantha Meredith; Estelle Richardson)

I Eight Race Official Results

1. San Diego, 6:56.9
(cox: Allyn DeLozier; Taylar Albertini; Taylor Caldwell; Michelle Geesman; Brianna Lamb; Courtney Olson; Hannah Patrick; Gina Schneider; Marilyn Smith)

2. Gonzaga, 6:58.5
(cox: Natalie Wolfrom; Sammi Koppinger; Teddi McGuire; Christy Mentele; Elise Perkins; Chelsea Quilling; Rachel Schlosser; Paula Welly; Hannah Winters)
3. Saint Mary's 7:23.0
(cox: Marrah Galvin; Haley Adams; Christina Bennett; Jordan Bonadio; Savina Brown; Michelle Burns; Dana Cook; Deanna Estes; Laura Kocourek)
4. Creighton 7:32.8
(cox: Ellie Ritchey; Anne Beethe; Alex Blomquist; Meg Blue; Kim Boehm; Kayla Heimerman; Emily Keating; Lauren Klick; Christine Koehler)
5. Loyola Marymount 7:34.7
(cox: Kayla Pietruszka; Maggie Boze; Shannon Craig; Chris Erhart; Mary Foster; Michelle Herrerias; Hanna Osborne; Katrina Regan; AlexSilva)
6. Santa Clara 7:36.4
(cox: Caitlin Cutting; Katie Caudle; Deanna Clark; Rachel Donohoe; Adrienne Lohe; Blair Mitchell; Laurel Schuster; Hilary Stewart; Jillian Walker)

2011 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year

Kim Cupini, San Diego

2011 West Coast Conference Coxswain of the Year

Allyn DeLozier, San Diego

2011 West Coast Conference All-Conference Team

Jordan Bonadio, Saint Mary's

Taylor Caldwell, San Diego

Mary Foster, Loyola Marymount

Kayla Heimerman, Creighton

Sami Koppinger, Gonzaga

Hannah Patrick, San Diego
Rachel Schlosser, Gonzaga

Gina Schneider, San Diego
Jillian Walker, Santa Clara

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