April 26, 2015 - The Cal Maritime crew team capped off their spring season with an excellent showing at the WIRA (Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association) championship, including its first championship in the men's varsity pair event, as well as a third place finish in the men's lightweight novice four and a fourth place finish in the men's heavyweight novice four.
The WIRA championship regatta, held at Lake Natoma in Sacramento, was a two-day event for collegiate varsity and club programs from throughout the west, including Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona. The heavyweight novice men's preliminaries included 20 crews across three heats. The Keelhaulers finished first in their heat posting the third fastest time in preliminaries. In the finals, they jumped out to an early lead with a strong start, with coxswain Sunil Clark urging on the crew of Colton Carey, Gabe Flores, Jeff Frick, and Kevin Kelly. Unfortunately, they were not able to hold the lead, eventually being caught, but they never gave up in pursuing the lead crews, finishing in a time of 7:09.7.
The men's lightweight novice four of LeighAnne Dones (coxswain), Caelan Chaykin, Ben Potter, Jacob Boisse, and Shane Coleman finished second in the preliminary heat with the fifth fastest time among nine crews. In the grand finals, they were in the fifth position with just over 1,000 meters to go in the race, then shifted into high gear, surging past Cal Berkeley, then USC with just about 300 meters to go to grab the bronze medal in the event, finishing in 7:18.0.
The last grand final for Cal Maritime was the men's varsity pair event. The Keelhaulers' pair of Ben Yuse and Dan Olson had cruised through the preliminary round, finishing first in their heat, and posting the fastest time among 16 crews. In the grand final, they led from the start. They had a few challenges from the rest of the field but never relinquished their lead, winning the championship in 7:22.7 over University of Oregon, Portland State University, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and Santa Clara University. Results for all final races are available at: http://www.row2k.com/results/resultspage.cfm?UID=819491&cat=2#.VT4y_o1FDIU and videos of the races are available at: http://livestream.com/row/events/3722243.
The championship was the final highlight of a very strong spring season which saw the crew team finish first in all its smaller regattas, and advance past the heats for the first time in a decade at the San Diego Crew Classic. The team thanks all those who supported the program throughout the year and looks forward to building on its successes next season.