Racing at Mission Bay for the first time this season, UCSD's top boat turned in a strong effort and placed second in the first heat of the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park Cup. The Tritons held off a late charge from third place UC Santa Barbara to post a time of 7:21.71 and finish roughly 15 seconds behind Orange Coast College. OCC won the heat at 7:05.4.
UCSD earned a spot in tomorrow's grand final with the second place finish. The Tritons have not raced in a grand final at the Crew Classic in nearly 10 years.
UC Santa Barbara's "A" boat, Mills College and Central Oklahoma were the top three finishers in the second heat of San Diego Zoo and Safari Park Cup, which also featured UCSD's "B" boat. The Tritons' second varsity eight finished fifth with a time of 7:44.11 and earned a spot in tomorrow's petite final.
"I was very pleased with our performance today," head coach Pattie Pinkerton said. "Both of our varsity boats have really improved and they are continuing to develop and come together as a crew. The athletes are very excited about their performance and we're looking forward to tomorrow's finals."
UCSD also entered a pair of novice boats on Saturday and despite great efforts in both races, neither group was able to advance. The Tritons finished fifth in the third heat of the Laurel V. Korholz Perpetual Trophy with a time of 7:44.65, while the other boat took third in the Collegiate Novice B Final with a time 7:52.89. The only Division II crew in the heat, the Tritons finished behind UCLA (7:12.0), Oklahoma (7:20.25), Alabama (7:30.24) and San Diego State (7:38.63).
The grand final of the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park Cup is scheduled for 11:20 a.m., with the petite final slated for 8:10.