By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s rowing program is sending two crews to the 26th annual Windermere Cup next weekend, May 5. The event is hosted by the University of Washington in Seattle and is happening in conjunction with the city’s annual Opening Day of boat season.

The Vikes will be participating in the women’s frosh novice eight and the varsity four races.


The Windemere Cup is expected to draw up to 200, 000 fans and though the Vikes will not be participating in the main event, the varsity eight, the competition will still provide valuable experience for two young crews. Both races will be 2000-m and start in Lake Washington and will row back to Montlake Cut.

“Our novice eight boat has all first-year athletes, with the exception of Rachel Dennis,” explained Vikes women’s rowing head coach Rick Crawley. “We believe we have a pretty fast boat for the novice eight. They are big and strong and now we get to test them against some strong opponents from Washington and Washington State, who are both perennially strong in the frosh-novice division.”

The novice eights will be led by women’s rowing assistant coach Pat Newman and will feature three Madeline’s including Geneau, as the cox, Spangahl at stroke and Brown in the three seat. Also competing in the novice eights are Dennis, Emily Francis (bow), Marla Catheral, Jillian Legare, Meaghan Thorkelson and Haley Christensen.

Crawley will prioritize coaching the varsity four, a boat made up of a more senior group of athletes that combines lightweights and members of the second varsity team.

“There will be good crews at the Windermere Cup,” said Crawley. “We are just coming off exams so I am not sure exactly where are crew is at. This race is mostly for experience but we will be looking to Alex Meiklejohn to lead the team. She was a lightweight varsity eight member and was a main cog in our gold medal lightweight group this year.”

Joining Meiklejohn is Megan Smith, as the cox, Bronwyn Lawrie, Emily Garry and Gillian Eeles. Eeles will be competing in her first competitive race after re-joining the team recently after recovering from a long-term injury.

The varsity four will race at 10:40 a.m., while the novice eights are scheduled to race at 11:05 a.m.

Frosh Novice Eight – coached by Pat Newman
Madeline Geneau (Cox)
Madeline Spangahl (Stroke)
Haley Christensen (7)
Meaghan Thorkelson (6)
Jillian Legare (5)
Marla Catheral (4)
Madeline Brown (3)
Rachel Dennis (2)
Emily Francis (bow)

Varsity Four – coached by Rick Crawley
Megan Smith (Coxain)
Alex Meiklejohn (Stroke)
Bronwyn Lawrie (3)
Emily Garry (2)
Gill Eeles (Bow)