By Brendan Weber
The men’s team came away with an impressive showing at the Pacific Coast Rowing Championship in spite of their unlucky situation going into the races. Not only were the Broncos going up against top-tier competition, but they were also missing key veterans due to injuries.
Regardless of their disadvantages, the younger rowers stepped up and clocked in respectable final times.
Altogether, the men’s rowing team placed four different boats on the water at Lake Natoma.
The bright spot for the Broncos came from senior Toban Platt and junior Russell Wetherley. The duo won the Open Pair race in spectacular fashion. Edging out pairs from University of California, Davis, Santa Clara and California State University, Sacramento, Platt and Wetherley rowed their way to a final time of 7:39.3.
With the victory, Platt finished his Santa Clara career on a high note.
“Winning the pair was really special for me because it was my last race as a Santa Clara student-athlete and it’s always nice to go out with a win,” said Platt.
Fellow rower Wetherley had nothing but positive remarks on Saturday’s event.
“This win was significant to me because I was able to send off a great friend of mine (Platt) with a victory,” said Wetherley. “This sport means the world to both of us and to have the last strokes of his career lead us to victory means that he will always be able to see himself as a champion.”
In one of the main events, the Santa Clara men finished sixth in the Open Eight race. The Broncos crossed the finish line with a time of 6:31.6, behind powerhouse programs from the University of Washington and the University of California, Berkeley. The Huskies and Golden Bears finished first and second, with solid times of 5:55.0 and 5:59.4 respectively.
Partaking in the Collegiate Novice Four race and the Collegiate Four race as well, the Broncos finished with times of 7:28.3 and 7:17.8 respectively. Those marks were not fast enough for Santa Clara to place in the top three of either race.
Looking forward to next season, Wetherley hopes that the strong finish will propel the Broncos to a fast start this upcoming fall.
“Ending the season with the taste of victory is fantastic and I want to be able to keep this feeling through all of our races next year along with everyone else,” said Wetherley.
The women’s rowing team was unable to find similar success as the men in Sacramento. Competing at the West Coast Conference Championship, the women could not stay with the other teams’ boats.
In the Varsity I Eight race and the Varsity I Four race, the Broncos fell behind the pack and could not maintain a winning pace, eventually finishing with times of 7:43.0 and 9:19.7 respectively.
Gonzaga University took home first place honors at the conference championship, which grants them an automatic spot to attend the NCAA tournament later this month. The University of San Diego wrapped up second place and Loyola Marymount University, University of Portland and Saint Mary’s College all tied for third place. The Broncos had to settle for seventh place.
Although the women finished their season with a less than stellar performance on Saturday, there were still significant achievements made by members of the team. Two Santa Clara rowers, junior Carina Brocato and sophomore Margret Mendenhall, were named to the 2013 WCC All-Conference Team.
Both Bronco rowing teams will look to rest up over the summer months and come back fresh and ready to start off their seasons on a high note.
Contact Brendan Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.