NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -
On the heels of a historic showing at the San Diego Crew Classic last weekend, the UC San Diego men's crew team put together another strong effort on Saturday, sweeping all four of its races at the Newport Regatta in Newport Harbor.
With first place times in the Varsity Four, Novice Eight, Second Varsity Eight and Varsity Eight races, UCSD easily tallied the most points at the regatta and captured the Palmer Cup for the first time.
The Tritons not only won all four of their races, but they did so in convincing fashion. All three varsity boats were able to achieve open water by the halfway point and none of them faced much of a challenge from the competition.
"Overall it was a great race," head coach Zach Johnson said. "We have never taken home the points trophy at this regatta, so that was a huge step for us. What made it even better was the enormous turnout from parents and alumni we had. In my 20 years going to that boathouse, I have never seen another team dominate the cheering and have the type of ‘home field' advantage from the crowd like we did today."
The Varsity Four was UCSD's first race of the day, with the Tritons easily beating out Orange Coast College and USC for the victory. UCSD posted a time of 7:02.5, which was well in front of OCC's 7:19.8.
The Tritons' Second Varsity Eight turned in a dominant performance as well, winning the race with a final time of 5:57.1. UCSD's Third Varsity, which was the only boat not to make the final at the Crew Classic last weekend, put on a great performance in its own right, taking second place in the six boat race with open water back to the next crew.
"I am most proud of our Third Varsity Eight today because they were able to show the depth and strength of our program," Johnson said. "They not only competed alongside every other team's second varsity, but they were able to finish second in the race, which was a tremendous accomplishment."
After a rough start off the line, the varsity boat was able to regain its composure and muscle its way back into the race by the 500-meter line. The unit made a huge push and surged ahead to take control of the race and cruise in for the win at 5:47.5. OCC finished second at 5:59.6, while UCI was third at 5:55.1.
The Novice Eight provided the closest race of the day as OCC jumped out to a five-seat lead and held the margin until the final 300 meters. The Triton freshman boat made a late charge to overtake the lead and went on to win the race in dramatic fashion at the finish line by a deck. UCSD came in at 5:48.5, while Orange Coast finished in 5:49.6.
Next up for UCSD is the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championship Regatta April 16-17 in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Coxswain - Shawn Kuo
Second Varsity Eight
Coxswain - Kelly Feldman
Third Varsity Eight
Coxswain - Mark Tolentino
Coxswain - Kasey Benjamin