Willamette Women's Rowing Season Review

Robinson is Named All-Conference; Four Bearcats Earn NCRC All-Academic Honors

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University rowing team completed its season at the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference (NCRC) Championship Regatta at Dexter Lake near Eugene, Ore., earlier this month. It was the last competition of 2013-14 for a relatively young team that looks forward to growing in numbers and success next season.

"Overall the season ended on an up feeling as far as attitude and approach by the rowers," said first-year Head Coach Reba Knickerbocker, who joined the team in November. "I'm returning all of the rowers who finished the season. I'm also looking forward to growing the team in the fall and bringing on some new novices."

Team members adjusted to their new head coach this season. They also began to form into a close-knit group and learned a lot about their overall strengths and weaknesses.

"I think our training off the water needs to be increased in terms of frequency and intensity," Knickerbocker said. "The rowers are also aware of needing to make this change, so I am confident that next spring will bring an uptick in fitness and competitive strength."

Four members of the Willamette women's rowing team were named All-Academic by the NCRC with cumulative or semester grade point averages of at least 3.5. The All-Academic selections were Katy Wallner (Jr., P, Petaluma, CA/Petaluma HS), Molly Pritchard (Fr., P, Medford, OR/South Medford HS), Emily Rolin (Fr., S, Richmond, RI/Chariho HS) and Rachel Robinson (Jr., C, Bellevue, WA/Bellevue HS).

Robinson also was chosen All-Conference following the NCRC Championship Regatta. Robinson was the coxswain for the women's varsity 4+ crew. All-NCRC selections are honored for their excellence in athletics, academics, leadership and community service.

Willamette has entered the annual competition lottery in hopes of receiving a bid to the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, Mass., in October. The Bearcats will enter the women's varsity 4+ in the prestigious competition if selected.

The Bearcats previously competed at the Head of the Charles in the women 's collegiate 4+ race from 2007 through 2010. The Bearcats placed fifth in 2007, took 11th in 2008, placed 14th in 2009 and finished 13th in 2010. Approximately 30 crews compete in the WC4+ each year.

The Willamette women's varsity 4+ included (l to r) Rachel Robinson (coxswain), Sarah Fish, Molly Pritchard, Hannah Puckett and Katy Wallner.

The Willamette women's varsity 4+ included (l to r) Rachel Robinson (coxswain), Sarah Fish, Molly Pritchard, Hannah Puckett and Katy Wallner.

Willamette coxswain Rachel Robinson was named All-Conference by the NCRC.

Willamette coxswain Rachel Robinson was named All-Conference by the NCRC.