Beavers Varsity 8+ Edges Gonzaga

March 22, 2009

LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. - The Oregon State men's crew took three-of-five races from Gonzaga and the Varsity 8+ came away with its first victory of the spring season Saturday on Liberty Lake.

The races were moved from Gonzaga's home waters of Silver Lake due to freezing water. The change in location worked to perfection as the two teams encountered little wind and very sporadic rain. The conditions set the stage for three entertaining races that all came down to the final meters.

The Varsity race pitted two crews who saw action at the 2008 IRA Championships. The Oregon State V8+ raced the Bulldogs even through the first 1000 meters of the course, leading by only three feet. The Beavers were able to keep their bow ahead through the second half of the race and crossed the finish line a mere .33 seconds ahead of their rivals from Spokane.

Oregon State captain Ian George was happy with the effort. 'It was a good aggressive piece. I am excited because I feel like we really found some good speed today.'

The Beaver's Junior Varsity 8+ crew was also locked in a tight race with the Bulldogs. The JV8+ gained a narrow lead in the first 500 meters of the race and held it through the first half of the course. They were able to fend of numerous pushes by the Gonzaga crew over the second half and took the race by just 1.05 seconds.

The Beaver Freshman 8+ boat was beaten off the starting line by the Bulldogs and found themselves close behind as they neared the 1000 meter mark. The F8+ then made a push that evened up the race. Neither crew was able to pull away until a strong 500 meter piece by the Beavers gave them the 1.05 second victory.

'I think that these close races taught these guys something,' said head coach Steve Todd. 'Gonzaga is a pretty good team this year and to come away with three wins is a big step for us.'

The two Beaver 4+ crews were not as successful as their teammates, as both the Varsity and Freshman 4+ boats dropped their races to Gonzaga. The V4+ boat suffered from a slow start and found themselves between a half-length and a full-length behind the Bulldogs the entire race. Despite several pushes for the lead, Gonzaga was able to fend off the Beavers and come away with the win. The OSU F4+ crew found themselves down early in their race and was never able to close as they fell to their rivals from Spokane.

The Oregon State crew will now take two weeks to prepare for the San Diego Crew Classic, where it will encounter its first Pac-10 competition of the year. Check back with for all things Beaver rowing.

Varsity 8+
1. Oregon State 5:57.39
2. Gonzaga 5:57.72

Junior Varsity 8+
1. Oregon State 6:12.16
2. Gonzaga 6:13.21

Freshman 8+
1. Oregon State 6:12.94
2. Gonzaga 6:13.59

Varsity 4+
1. Gonzaga 6:58.27
2. Oregon State 7:06.04

Freshman 4+
1. Gonzaga 7:11.56
2. Oregon State 7:27.96

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