SAN DIEGO - The UC San Diego men's rowing team's bid to win its 11th consecutive San Diego City Championship came up short Saturday on Mission Bay. UCSD had owned the championship trophy since 2004, but the streak ended as the University of San Diego came out on top.
The event has been hosted by the three San Diego rowing schools (San Diego State, UC San Diego, University of San Diego) since 1971. Each of the schools has been in possession of the trophy for long stretches, but none as long as the Tritons' run.
“You have to hand it to the University of San Diego," said UCSD head coach Zach Johnson. "They had not won the title in a long time and they came out ready to not only race, but to send a message to us."
Saturday's races were run in a best-of-three format with timed pieces of six, four and three minutes.
In the Varsity 8, USD came out firing and UCSD was not able to respond, losing all three pieces by open water. The Toreros broke free in the second minute of each piece and never looked back.
SDSU had scratched from the event earlier in the week.
It was much the same in the Novice 8. The races were tighter, but USD was still able to win the first two pieces. UCSD made an adjustment in the last piece and was able to pull off its lone victory of the day, but the Tritons unfortunately found the momentum they were looking for too late.
"This season, we have lost several key people on our team to various circumstances and have been forced to keep overcoming adversity," said Johnson. "We are struggling to find or create momentum for ourselves. At this point, we are trying to stay focused on getting our team back to full strength so we can finish the season how we thought we would this past fall."
UCSD competes against Gonzaga, Santa Clara and UC Davis in Davis on Friday, March 14.