In 2010, Florida Tech finished fourth in the NCAA. The Panthers brought that exact lineup to face the Tritons on Friday. UCSD presented an entirely new 2011 varsity eight lineup with the exception of co-captain Denise Kleckner, who returned to the lineup just days ago. Kleckner had been sidelined for several months with a back injury.
"We have room for improvement, as we came off the line ahead of Florida Tech," said head coach Pattie Pinkerton. "We were able to stay with them for the first half of the race, but we allowed them to set the pace. We felt we had the best power and rhythm, but we let the race dictate our rating. It cost us in poise and power in the second half of the race."
The first 500 meters went at a blistering pace with a time of 1:45. The boats were pacing at 35 strokes per minute, eventually settling near 33. Florida Tech proved to be too much for the Tritons in a hard-fought battle.
"We closed the gap on the Panthers," said Pinkerton. "Last year we finished over 20 seconds back with an experienced crew. It underlines the potential of this crew. We just need to race our race. We thought we should have put together a better executed race, but its part of the learning curve. It's good to see the aggression. Now we'll add control."
The Tritons continue Saturday morning with match-ups scheduled against Barry University and Nova Southeastern University.
1. Florida Tech, 7:17.7
2. UC San Diego, 7:30.5
1. Florida Tech, 8:30.1
2. UC San Diego, 7:50.3