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April 30, 2011

Women's Varsity 4 Rows Into Grand Final

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. - A fast time and winning performance in a Saturday morning preliminary heat pushed Pacific Lutheran into the Sunday women's varsity four grand final at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships on Lake Natoma.

Racing in the second of two heats, the Lutes crossed the line first in a time of 8:01.0, followed by Seattle Pacific in 8:04.6. Just last Saturday, in the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference final on Lake Stevens, SPU won the women's varsity four title, with the Lutes a distant fifth.

This Saturday, however, was a very different story. The PLU crew, consisting of coxswain Hannah Peay and rowers Abby Smith, Rachel Kisling, Taylor Brunstad and Erin Siebert, recorded the third fastest time when combining the two heats.

The Lutes rowers will be joined in the 8 a.m. final by Western Washington (7:43.9, 1st heat), Humboldt State (7:56.2, 1st heat), Seattle Pacific, Seattle U. (8:07.6, 2nd heat), and UC-Irvine (8:15.7, 1st heat).

The women's varsity four final is the first event in a full day of racing that will also include PLU in the men's novice lightweight four grand final, and the men's varsity eight third final.

With only six teams entered in the novice lightweight four division, Pacific Lutheran gets an automatic berth in the grand final. The PLU men's varsity eight, meanwhile, placed sixth in the third of three preliminary races on Saturday, clocking 6:46.8, and thus gets sent to the third final.

- PLU -