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WWU’s Varsity 8+ pulling away from Seattle Pacific in the final 500 meters through the Montlake Cut in Seattle (Jeff Bechthold/UW Sports Info)

WWU Vikings Win Varsity 8+ at the Husky Open

March 31, 2018


SEATTLE, Wash. – The No. 1-ranked NCAA Division II Western Washington University women’s rowing team returned to regatta competition on Saturday morning, winning the Varsity 8+ race of the Husky Open on Montlake Cut. 

WWU’s top eight-oared lineup completed the 2,000-meter course in 7:08.935, defeating NCAA II 7th-ranked Seattle Pacific (7:13.079) and the University of Washington (7:20.849).

Led by sophomore coxswain Jonah Bettger (Brush Prairie, WA/Prairie) and senior All-American Chloe Burns (Kirkland, WA/Lake Washington) in the stroke seat, the Vikings powered through a strong second half of the race to record the 5-second victory over SPU. UW’s entry in the race was its 4V lineup as the program also competed in a dual against Washington State earlier in the morning.

The Vikings held a slight lead after the first 500 meters and trailed by one seat at the midway point racing neck-in-neck with Seattle Pacific. WWU made its move just after the 1,000-meter mark and gained a quick boat-length lead just after the 1,500-meter mark, sustaining its lead over the final 300 meters for the victory.

“It was a fun day for sure as UW is always a great host,” said 20th-year head coach John Fuchs. “We are pleased with both crews' performances. The 1V was able to finish strong netting them the overall medal for the 1V event. Anytime we can do that against a Washington crew, Portland and Seattle U., we will take it.”

WWU’s time in the 1V8 event was tops among the six entries, followed closely by Seattle Pacific and the University of Portland and Puget Sound from the second heat.

WWU’s 2nd Varsity 8+ finished 2nd in its race matching up against Portland and Seattle Pacific. Portland finished in 7:23.901, with WWU following in 7:30.483. The 2V8+ was led by sophomore coxswain Adele Houston (Seattle, WA/Nathan Hale) and junior stroke Hannah Bivans (Claremont, CA).

“The 2V had a solid run as well but they stumbled out of the blocks and it took them a while to catch up,” added Fuchs. “Third for them overall is acceptable given the first 100 meters. It is always fun to race here.”

The Vikings continue the 2018 season next Saturday (April 7) competing against top West Region teams at the Covered Bridge Regatta on Dexter Lake in Lowell, Oregon.


Story and photo courtesy of WWU Athletics

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