LaVigne, Stroud earn All-NWC as Pios place third

LaVigne, Stroud earn All-NWC as Pios place third

LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- The No. 15 Lewis & Clark Pioneers were one point out of second place to finish third at the Northwest Conference Championships on Sunday at American Lake.

Pacific Lutheran won the team title for the second straight year, followed by Puget Sound.

Lewis & Clark's Ryan LaVigne and Natalie Stroud were All-NWC selections.

The Pios finished second in the women's varsity eight, defeating Puget Sound by almost 13 seconds with a mark of 7:13.9. The win earned Lewis & Clark 27 points toward the overall championship.

"The 1V8 was able to reverse their close loss to Puget Sound a couple weeks ago, but the No. 7 Pacific Lutheran crew is clearly the class of the field," said Lewis & Clark head coach Sam Taylor. "Just like at our dual race, they just crept away, stroke by stroke, in the middle of the piece. Our crew had a really good piece and felt good about the race."

In the second varsity eight, the first race of the day, Lewis & Clark finished behind the field for third after crossing the line in 7:39.5.

"Leading off the start, they really never found a great rhythm and fell behind in the middle thousand," said Taylor. "We were left with too much ground to make up."

Lewis & Clark finished with a total of 35 team points, getting eight from the third-place finish in the second varsity eight. Puget Sound nipped the Pios by scoring 12 with a first-place result in the second varsity eight and 24 from third in the first varsity eight.

With the conference meet wrapped up, the Pioneers will get ready for the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships next weekend in Sacramento, Calif.

"The 2V8 crew is very determined to have a better showing at WIRA next week, and we'll see what we can change in practice to make that happen," said Taylor.

Lewis & Clark's novice four was third with a time of 9:00.4, 13 seconds behind second-place PLU.

"Our novice four, which has been having some challenging races this year, was really pleased with their piece and finished a solid third," said Taylor. "They had a good battle with PLU in the middle of the race."

The WIRA Championships start on Saturday and are a two-day event.