The Creighton women’s rowing team opened its season with a win against Southern Methodist University over spring break at White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas.

In the first race on March 12, the second varsity 8 squad clocked in at a time of 7:18.3 while SMU finished the race at 7:30.94. 

“Beating SMU on varsity was a big win,” said assistant coach Joy Dobrauc. 

Texas and SMU would take first place in the other five races Creighton participated in; giving the Bluejays a third place finish in the three-team event.

The weather provided the Bluejays with an additional challenge throughout their week in Dallas.

“Three things keep us off the water: fog, lightning and wind,” said rower Catie Ward. “We dealt with wind and lightning.”

The weather proved difficult throughout the entire week. Despite the poor conditions, the Bluejays made it work with getting to practice on the water at least once or twice per day, weather permitting.

Because of the cold weather in Omaha, the rowing team had not been on the water in a long time. Going to Dallas allowed the Bluejays to get some valuable practice time in before they began their spring season.

“Besides the bad weather, it was the first time back on the water since November,” said coxswain Payton Genis. “The two practices each day helped.”

Ward praised her coxswain in particular for her contributions to the race. 

“Our coxswain, Hannah Wysopal, did a great job,” said Ward. “She did an excellent job, especially with the moving buoy line.”

The drive to Dallas was also a considerable 12-hour drive. The rowers agreed that the drive was not a big factor because they had ample time to rest. 

On Saturday, the team faced nationally-ranked Tulsa, finishing in 8:09.8, behind the Golden Hurricane’s time of 7:45.3.

Looking forward into the season, the rowing team will be facing off against Upper Iowa University April 3, 2016.

Following that, the rowing team hopes to beat its rival, Drake, here in Omaha on April 16th. 

The Jays were picked to finished seventh in the 2016 West Coast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll. Two individual rowers junior Whitney Coriolan and Sarah Birnbaum were selected to the 2016 All-WCC Preseason Rowing Team.

The rowing team’s main goal for the season is to compete in Sacramento, California, at the end of the year, where the West Coast Conference has the women’s rowing championships.

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