The No. 17 WSU women’s crew team came home from the Pac-12 Championships on Lake Natoma near Sacramento, Calif. this past weekend placing sixth, only one and a half points behind No. 10 Stanford.
Highlighting the sixth place finish for WSU was a bronze medal from the novice eight and a fourth place finish from the varsity four.
Both boats outperformed their seeding, or pre-race ranking, with the novice eight coming into the race at four and the varsity four being seeded seventh.
"Everyone raced really hard and I’m very proud of our performance today," said Head Coach Jane LaRiviere in a press release. "The novice did a great job finishing third, and the four really stepped up, placing fourth after being seeded seventh. Overall we did a good job of closing the gaps and now we’ll wait and see what happens Tuesday."
On Tuesday, the NCAA selection committee gave WSU an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships taking place May 31 through June 2 at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis.
The Cougars will send their varsity eight boat, seeded at 16, their second varsity eight, seeded at 17, and their varsity four, seeded at nine.
The NCAA Championships appearance will be the third in four years for the Cougar women, and their seventh appearance overall.
In addition to the novice eight and varsity four performances, the varsity eight finished sixth with a time of 6 minutes, 51.1 seconds. The second varsity eight also finished sixth with a time of 6 minutes, 59.6 seconds.
A victory over No. 15 Wisconsin in late April by the varsity eight shell highlighted the Cougars regular season.
No. 2 California took home the Pac-12 title with 39 team points, barely beating out the 37.5 points from No. 1 USC. Finishing 10 points behind WSU in last place was Oregon State, with only 6.5 points.
In addition to the team achievements, redshirt senior Katie Dick was named the Pac-12 Women’s Rowing Scholar-Athlete of the Year award during the weekend’s events, making her the first Cougar rower to earn the honor.
"I was really surprised," Dick said to wsucougars.com.
Dick graduated from WSU this spring with a degree in philosophy and carried a 3.98 GPA, while also sporting three Pac-12 All-Academic selections.
"The philosophy department has meant a lot to me in my five years at WSU," Dick said. "I was real inspired by my professors in the department. They showed me you have to study what you’re passionate about and go after what you’re most interested in."
The WSU men’s crew team, who also traveled to the Pac-12 Championships this past weekend, came back with a fifth place finish. The Cougar men’s team, a club program, competed against a handful of varsity programs at the championships.
The Cougars men collected 29 points, seven points ahead of last place Colorado and 42 points behind champion Washington.
The novice 8+ boat finished fifth with a time of 6 minutes, 32.8 seconds with the varsity 4+ boat finishing fourth with a time of 7 minutes, 23.6 seconds and the varsity 8+ boat placing fifth with a time of 6 minutes, 28.7 seconds.