Crew Opens Year at Mission Bay

The UCSD men’s and women’s crew teams kicked off the 2013-2014 season at the Susan G. Kohman Row for the Cure

The UCSD fall crew season opened at Mission Bay in San Diego this past Sunday. The Tritons faced off against teams coming from Orange Coast College, University of San Diego, San Diego State and UCLA.

Held in partnership with Susan G. Komen Foundation, the contest raised between $13,000 and $15,000 to be donated to breast cancer patients and research.

The event, which was not limited to collegiate athletes, drew over 600 participants who all helped in making this year’s fundraising effort the biggest to date. Races extended beyond crew and featured kayaks, outriggers, stand up paddleboards and surf skis.

“It’s really nice to know that our team can partner with other rowing teams to help support the Susan G. Komen foundation,” junior captain Kelly Petersen said.

Going over a decade strong, Row for the Cure has consistently expanded in size and donations each year. The money raised will serve both at a local and national level – the majority will go towards uninsured San Diego women with breast cancer while the residual funds will contribute to breast cancer research.

“[The race] does carry more meaning, particularly for some of the athletes who have known somebody who has had breast cancer,” women’s crew coach Colin Truex said.

Both the Triton men and women posted strong performances at last Saturday’s meet.

The Triton men performed particularly well, as UCSD’s B team took first place in the Men’s Open Eight (11:19), while UCSD’s A team earned first place in the Men’s Collegiate Freshman Eight with a time of 11:41.

On the women’s side, UCSD’s B team finished in fourth place (13:52) in the Women’s Open Eight event. UCSD’s A team finished only a second behind (13:53), taking fifth place, while the C team placed seventh (14:56).

After a long summer, Truex notes that this unofficial season opener indicates little for the coming year.

“It was more about just shaking off some of the cobwebs and going out and rowing hard,” Truex said.

Regardless, the coach felt it was a good start. “It’s early, but they’ve worked hard and they’ve rowed well.”

After the races were finished, breast cancer survivors from the community handed out the medals to rowing participants.

“It’s really inspiring to see people who have overcome and struggled through so much be so happy to attend and participate,” senior captain Olivia Knizek said.

While the Row for the Cure provided for an eventful season opener for the Tritons in their home port, the UCSD women’s crew squad sets its sights on its upcoming schedule.

“There’s good fundamentals that we can build on, and there’s good fitness,” Truex said.  “We have the right mindset to go forward.”

The Tritons will continue their season on Nov. 3, as they travel to Newport Beach for the Newport Autumn Rowing Festival. The competition will begin at 6 a.m.