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Photo by: Ken Grosse/UCSD Athletics
Racing against some of the top programs in the country, the Tritons posted a pair of second place finishes at the SIRA Championships on Sunday.
Two UCSD Boats Finish Second in SIRA Championship Finals
Release: Saturday 04/17/2011 
by UCSD

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. - The UC San Diego men's crew team had three boats racing in the finals of the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championship Regatta on Sunday and two of the three came away with second place finishes on Melton Hill Lake.

The Tritons claimed second place out of six squads in both the Novice Eight and Junior Varsity Eight races, while the Varsity Eight finished in sixth place following a disappointing miscue. The University of Virginia had the top boat in both the Novice Eight and Junior Varsity Eight, while Florida Tech posted the top time in the Varsity Eight race.

"Our Novice and Junior Varsity had brilliant races and demonstrated the depth that our program has," head coach Zach Johnson said. "The Junior Varsity managed to post their fastest time, which was Varsity caliber. They did an awesome job and the Novice had such a close race, it was a photo finish."

The Novice Eight started UCSD's day off with a bang, beating Purdue, George Washington, Notre Dame and the University of North Carolina. The Tritons were neck and neck with Virginia and the race came down to the officials' call of the photo finish. The difference proved to be .15 seconds in the favor of the Cavaliers, as UCSD's time of 6:02.00 was just shy of Virginia's 6:01.85.

The Tritons again found themselves trailing the Cavaliers in another tight battle in the Junior Varsity Eight race. UCSD recorded a final time of 5:57.90, one second behind Virginia, which clocked in at 5:56.90. The Tritons finished three seconds ahead of third-place Temple, with the rest of the field, including George Washington, Jacksonville and St. Joseph, in fourth through sixth place, respectively.

UC San Diego's Varsity Eight had a great start and a solid performance, but one mishap spoiled their hopes for a victory in the final. After the 500-meter mark, the Tritons caught a crab and were unable to recover, although they were able to catch back up to the pack towards the end of the race. Despite the late charge, UCSD finished in last place with a time of 6:13.04, 11.34 seconds behind champion Florida Tech. When it was all said and done, fifth-place Jacksonville finished less than two seconds in front of the Tritons.

"It was disappointing, but it happens. It's just one of those fluke things and it happened at the wrong time." Johnson continued, "I am so proud of our program this weekend. Even in the Varsity Eight, if we hadn't caught a crab I think we would have had a shot to win, if not take second place."

After a great showing in Tennessee, the Tritons will return to competition with the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championship Regatta, which is scheduled for April 30 and May 1 in Rancho Cordova, Calif.

Results:

Novice Eight
1. Virginia - 6:01.85
2. UCSD - 6:02.00
3. Purdue - 6:05.63
4. GWU - 6:06.22
5. Notre Dame - 6:19.09
6. UNC - 6:19.70

Junior Varsity Eight
1. Virginia - 5:56.90
2. UCSD - 5:57.90
3. Temple - 6:00.70
4. GWU - 6:05.70
5. Jacksonville - 6:11.20
6. St. Joseph 6:11.99

Varsity Eight
1. Florida Tech - 6:01.70
2. Temple - 6:04.50
3. Virginia - 6:05.60
4. GWU - 6:07.44
5. Jacksonville - 6:11.61
6. UCSD - 6:13.04

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