Alaska rowers Casey Mapes and Julia Munger, along with their Western Washington University team mates, Samantha Oberholzer and Katie Tipton, advanced today to Sunday's final heat in the NCAA Women's Crew Championship at Lake Latoma, east of Sacramento, California.
Western's four was victorious by nearly five boat lengths in its qualifying heat, winning by nearly 18 seconds, 7:53.85 to 8:11.29, over second-place UC San Diego. Nova Southeastern was third (8:19.57) and Dowling fourth (8:33.48).
Western's Varsity Eight, with Alaskan Audrey Coon, also won their heat, advancing to the second round, to be held Sunday morning, according to the WWU Vikings web site:
"Western's eight won its qualifying heat by over four boat lengths. The Vikings completed the 2,000-meter course in 6:54.29 with Dowling NY second (7:12.00) and Philadelphia PA (7:19.34) third.
"The triumphs advance the nationally No.1-ranked and three-time defending national champion Vikings to Sunday's grand finals with the four competing at 9:15 a.m. and the eight at 9:45 a.m."
Needless to say, Judy and I are pumped. Judy started hyper-ventilating during the race. But she's fine now. We're shopping at one of what must be thousands of malls surrounding the Sacramento core area. We're going to try to find a more rustic RV site for tonight than the one we found in industrial Rancho Cordova last night.