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SAN BRUNO, Calif. - In their second season competing in the West Coast Conference, the Creighton women's crew team has been picked to finish fifth in the WCC Preseason Poll, released today by the league offices.  Head coaches of the seven WCC teams vote on the preseason poll, with coaches unable to vote for their own team. 

In addition, Bluejay senior Christine Koehler is one of 10 players to be named to the Preseason All-West Coast Conference Team, also picked by the league coaches. 

"We are looking forward to another great year as part of the West Coast Conference," said head coach Dan Chipps.  "We were picked fifth in the preseason poll, but we are looking to better that and improve on our fourth place finish from a year ago.  With the hard work we are putting in and improvements we are making, I know our team will rise to the challenge.

"I am also very happy for Christine.  That is a pretty big honor to be picked as a preseason all-conference member and she deserves it."

The Bluejays finished the 2011 WCC Championships fourth, picking up 16 points with three boats finishing in the top-5.  Kayla Heimerman was named to the WCC All-Conference team following the races on April 29, 2011.

San Diego was tabbed to lead the league in 2012, receiving four first place votes in the poll, but is followed closely by Gonzaga, who finished with three votes.  San Diego seniors Michelle Geesman, Stephanie Jegat and Hannah Patrick were selected to the preseason all-conference team.  Patrick was named to the 2011 All-Conference team at the conclusion of the rowing championship, where the Toreros topped Gonzaga 36 to 30 in the final points standing.

Gonzaga is tabbed to finish second as voted on by the WCC rowing coaches.  After spending the last four years as the head coach at Georgetown, the Bulldogs return Glenn Putrae as the women's rowing head coach.  Putyrae was the Zags' coach from 1999 to 2007.  Senior Teddi McGuire was named to the all-conference team. 

Saint Mary's was picked to finish third in the WCC poll.  Senior Chelseas Serrano was selected to the preseason all-WCC team.  Serrano took part in the I Four Race for the Gaels in last year's WCC Championship.

Rounding out the preseason coaches poll are Creighton, Santa Clara and Portland.  Bluejays' senior Christine Koehler along with sophomores Rachel Donohoe of Santa Clar and Mia Tarte from Portland were also named to the preseason all-WCC team.

The 2012 WCC Rowing Championships will take place on May 12 at Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif.

2012 West Coast Conference Preseason Poll
1. University of San Diego (4)
2. Gonzaga University (3)
3. Saint Mary's College
4. Loyola Marymount University
5. Creighton University
6. Santa Clara University
7. Portland University


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