Tritons Overcome Tough Conditions for Impressive Debut in Newport Beach
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – The University of California San Diego men’s rowing team opened their 2019 season at the UC Cup Challenge on Saturday morning, facing UC foes Cal, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, and UC Santa Barbara. The conditions in Newport Beach were not favorable, as the teams faced a strong head wind and choppy waters.
Despite the conditions, the Men’s Varsity 8+ made an impressive debut, as the Tritons captured second place of six teams. With a time of 7:17.5, UC San Diego finished behind only Cal, who was ranked fourth in the nation in the IRA/US Rowing Varsity Eight Coaches Preseason Poll.
In the Men’s Junior Varsity 8+, the Tritons were part of an extremely tight race, ultimately placing third. They compiled a time of 7:16.7, finishing just 0.7 seconds behind the second-place UC Davis crew.
The Tritons took the top two spots in the Men’s 3rd Varsity 8+. UCSD A crossed the finish line at the 8:05.8 mark to earn first, over 20 seconds faster than UC Davis and more than 30 seconds faster than the UC Santa Barbara crews. UCSD B followed their Triton counterparts with the next-best finish, recording a time of 8:28.7.
Head Coach Zach Johnson felt that the team’s season-opening races were a great starting point for the season.
“I felt really good about the performance overall,” Johnson said. “I still think we have faster lineups to be had once we can get some people healthy and a few of our more powerful guys contributing at a higher level, but it was good overall for the first race.”
Johnson acknowledged the role the weather played at the regatta.
“The weather was definitely a factor with the inside lanes being favored in the protected wind, but considering we were in the middle and outside lanes in every race, it makes our performance that much better,” Johnson said. “The 3V event was definitely the worst conditions with horrible whitecaps.”
UC San Diego returns home for its competition. The Tritons will race Gonzaga, Santa Clara, and the University of San Diego at Mission Bay at 7 a.m. on March 9.
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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