GOLD RIVER, Calif. - Nearly six months after their seasons began, the UC San Diego rowing teams will compete at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championships, hosted at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center on Lake Natoma in Nimbus Flat State Park, beginning Saturday at 8 a.m.
The two-day conference championships will run through Sunday with the last event, the women’s Varsity 8-D1/Open, kicking off at 12:20 p.m. The Awards Ceremony will follow at 1 p.m.
The top two NCAA Division II teams on the women's side at the WIRA Championships will clinch the regional bids for the NCAA Division II National Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., on May 31-June 2, in addition to two at-large bids. The women will be vying to secure their first berth in the NCAA Championships since 2008.
On the men's side, the top two teams will secure a slot in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships, where they will make a return trip to Gold River on May 31-June 2.
Both the men and women are slated to contend in at least four events over the two days. The women, who will have all four scheduled races on Saturday, start off the day in the Varsity 4 D2/D3/Club event at 8 a.m. The women’s JV 8-D2/D3/Club and Varsity 8-D2/D3/Club races will get underway at 10:10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., respectively. UCSD’s heat in the women’s Novice 8 competition will commence at noon.
"WIRA is always such a great weekend of racing," said UCSD women's head coach Colin Truex. "We look forward to this race every year. The venue, the competition, and the parent support are just top notch."
Three of the men’s races will take place on Saturday, including the Varsity 4 at 8:30 a.m., the JV 8 at 10 a.m. and the Novice 8 at 11:40 a.m. In addition, the men’s entry in the Varsity 8 IRA Eligible Final event will square off with its opponents on Sunday at 12:10 p.m.
Cal, Arizona State, Western Washington, Pacific Lutheran and Chico State will face the Triton women’s Varsity 4 boat, while Humboldt State, Puget Sound and Mills College will oppose UCSD in the women’s JV 8 race. WWU, UPS, Orange Coast College, UC Davis, Sonoma State and Mills will join the Triton women in a crowded heat of the Varsity 8 event. In the UCSD women’s heat of the Novice 8, Gonzaga, Sacramento State, University of San Diego, UCD and Oregon will try to outpace the Tritons.
The men’s Varsity 4 boat will share the water with HSU, Long Beach State, Seattle Pacific, Seattle University and USC. UCSD will also take on UCLA, UC Irvine and Washington State in the men’s JV 8 race. GU, WSU, UCI, LBSU, UCD and Oregon are slated to compete in the men’s Novice 8 against the Tritons. Additionally, the UCSD men will attempt to outrun GU, USD and Santa Clara in Sunday’s Varsity 8 IRA Eligible Final.
At the 2012 WIRA Championships, the women placed fourth in the West overall with three boats reaching the Grand Finals on the second day. UCSD’s Lightweight 4 boat finished fifth in its final with a time of 8:09.10, while the Varsity 8 (7:12.60) and Second Varsity 8 (7:52.60) each settled for sixth in their respective finals races. The Lightweight 4 craft was faster than Chapman (8:24.80) but trailed first-place HSU by more than 42 seconds (7:42.50). WWU won the Varsity 8 Grand Final in 6:45.90. UCSD beat seventh-place Mills by 2.5 seconds (7:55.10) in the women’s Second Varsity 8 Grand Final but also fell to champion WWU (7:11.60).
The Triton men fared better at last year’s WIRA Championships, winning the Grand Finals of both the JV 8 and Second Novice 8. UCSD’s men’s JV 8 won with a time of 6:04.60, and the Tritons’ Second Novice 8 shell crossed the finish line in 6:13. The men’s Varsity 8 and Novice 8 boats also had finals. In the Varsity 8 Grand Final, the Tritons took third (6:08) and were beaten by runner-up USD (6:05.5) and first-place GU (5:57.60) but defeated SCU in fourth (6:11.10) and PLU in fifth (6:31.50). UCSD’s Novice 8 craft, which ended in fourth, was faster than UCI (6:15.40, 5th) and WSU (6:30.70, 6th) in its Grand Final but could not overcome OCC (6:04.1, 1st), GU (6:07.1, 2nd) and UCLA (6:11.0, 3rd).
UCSD’s women last competed at the 40th San Diego Crew Classic on April 6-7 in Mission Bay, where shells in the Collegiate DII/III/Club Varsity 4+ Grand Final (7:58.30) and Collegiate DII/III/Club Varsity 8 Petit Final (7:25.12) claimed victories. Since the San Diego Crew Classic, Truex has tinkered with the lineup and believes HSU is the team his squads will most likely have to beat if they hope to advance to the NCAA Championships.
"We've had a great few weeks of practice since the San Diego Crew Classic," Truex said. "All boats are moving the best they have all season. We expect some competitive races and solid results across the board."
In contrast, the Triton men are just a week removed from the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championships in Oak Ridge, Tenn., where three boats participated in the finals. UCSD’s Varsity 8 team rowed to third in its B Final (6:04.50), the Novice 8 boat fought its way to fourth in its B Final (6:36.40) and the JV 8 craft in its A Final (6:16.30) finished fifth. Notre Dame (6:00.10) won the Varsity 8 B Final, Colorado (6:29.90) topped the Novice 8 B Final and Virginia (6:02.20) was the fastest in the JV 8 A Final.
UCSD RACE SCHEDULE
Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships
April 27-28, 2013
Gold River, Calif.
Sacramento State Aquatic Center
Nimbus Flat State Park
Saturday, April 27 Heats (Times are PDT)
Women’s Varsity Four D2/D3/Club - Heat 1 - 8 a.m.
Men’s Varsity Four - Heat 2 - 8:30 a.m.
Men’s JV Eight - Heat 2 - 10 a.m.
Women’s JV Eight-D2/D3/Club - Heat 1 - 10:10 a.m.
Women’s Varsity Eight-D2/D3/Club - Heat 1 - 10:30 a.m.
Men’s Novice Eight - Heat 2 - 11:40 a.m.
Women’s Novice Eight - Heat 2 - Noon
Sunday, April 28 Heats (Times are PDT)
Men’s Varsity Eight IRA Eligible - Final -12:10 p.m.
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