Gaels Take Over Sacramento

There might not be a better way to spend a Saturday than following the Gaels, and if you’re really industrious, you look for a way to see as many teams as possible.

So, that led me to the Sacramento area today, where three Saint Mary’s teams were in action.

Here’s a little look at the day through the eyes of @SMCGaels.

8 a.m.: We head to Lake Natoma, home of the Sacramento State rowing team. There, we find Saint Mary’s rowing, loading boats and hitting the water for its first meet of the spring.

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8:30 a.m.: The Gaels Varsity 8 (above) hits the water, battling to a second-place finish as it crosses the line. SMC heads for dry ground, and waits for the 4s to start later in the day.

If you’ve never been to a regatta (which I hadn’t), it’s really quite something. Both college and high school boats lined the shore of Lake Natoma, with each waiting its turn to get out and race.

Once they’re in position, you look as far down the water line as you can, trying to figure which lane your team is in. As they get closer, the cheers get louder and your eye switches to the red marker in front of you. The boats cross the line, and teams prepare to do it all again shortly.

9 a.m.: With a gap between races at Lake Natoma, we bid the SMC Rowing team adieu and hit Highway 50 again. Next stop: Hornet Stadium and the SMC Track team.

9:20: Time for the sunscreen and a bottle of water.

9:30: We find SMC coaches Kinsey, Carberry and Dexter lurking in the shadows, trying to stay shaded as the women’s 1,500 meter race is about to start. Soon, they move to the rail, cheering on Erin Burke and Cristy Garcia as they start SMC’s day on the track.

IMAG0959 (1)10 a.m.: Next, it’s the men who hit the track for the 5K. Rajpaul Pannu, SMC’s star of the fall, resembles a rather burly pumpkin in an orange top as he runs unattached. Nick Ellingson and Jordan Lerma are also ready to roll.

A few minutes later: Pannu crosses the line first, winning his heat going away. Just as impressive is Ellingson, as he sets the SMC school record in the event (Pannu can’t because he’s running unattached).

1:30 p.m.: A quick car ride up the street and we’re at Shea Stadium for softball!

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Gaels roll out the red uniforms today, and will face the Hornets shortly. Check @smcgaels on Twitter for game updates!

3:45 p.m.: Offensive explosions in the second and third innings has SMC up 9-2 heading toward the end of the game. Lujane Mussadi looking to finish things off in the circle.

4 p.m.: Saint Mary’s wins 9-3 against Sacramento State, putting the perfect cap on a Gaeltastic day in the Sacramento area!

See you all back in Moraga!

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