Over the past three weeks, the Gaucho men’s and women’s crew teams finished out their spring seasons by competing against some of the best crew teams in the nation.

On May 1-2, both teams traveled north to Lake Natoma to compete in the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championships near Sacramento.

UCSB rowed against 15 other teams, including Sacramento State, UC Davis, Willamette and University of Oregon, in the league championships. The women were able to row their way to three top four finishes in both the novice and varsity events.

The Gaucho women performed well in preparation for their final two regattas. The lightweight four team narrowly missed first place in its final, finishing just five-tenths of a second behind Pacific Lutheran. The women’s varsity eight took a sixth place finish in its final, and the novice lightweight four took first place in its final in a time of 7:46.3, more than 10 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Sac State.

The UCSB men took third place in the final of the lightweight eight, while the B team finished fifth in the same race. Men’s lightweight four finished a close race in second, a mere seven-tenths of a second behind first place Seattle Pacific University. The novice team worked its way to a third place finish in the lightweight four.

The WIRA Championships were only the beginning of three weeks of tough competition for the Gauchos as they made the trip to Worcester, Mass., May 8-9 to compete in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) National Invitational Collegiate Regatta. Some of the top collegiate teams in the country competed in the meet, including Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, University of Michigan and University of Virginia.

The Gaucho varsity men finished their spring season strong in Worcester. taking two top-six finishes. In the lightweight eight division, UCSB took third behind Boston College and Mercyhurst University. Varsity four earned a sixth place finish in its final. A second place finish in the novice eight final was the highest honor the UCSB women earned at the ECAC Regatta.

Although the ECAC Invitational signaled the end of the men’s season, as well as the novice season, the varsity women had one final regatta to compete in at Lake Natoma.

Last weekend, the Gaucho women’s varsity team competed in the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships against Pac-10 conference schools. including Berkeley, UCLA, Washington State and Stanford. The team put together a 12th place finish in the varsity eight final to finish out its Spring season.