Rowing With the UCSD Crew

    The UCSD men’s crew team kicked off its 2001 campaign last Sunday at 8 a.m. with the San Diego Indoor Rowing Championship in Mission Bay.

    Sky Frostenson

    Competing against other local teams such as San Diego State University, UC Irvine, Loyola Marymount, and the University of San Diego, the Tritons were able to hold their own and get a glimpse of what the rest of the 200l season has in store for them.

    “”It went really well,”” said varsity assistant coach Steven Casey. “”The team’s looking good.””

    For the men’s varsity team, crew member Brian Sullivan placed first in the event with a time of 6:12.2, which was an astounding four seconds faster than the second place finisher.

    Varak Smith was the only other top-10 finisher for the Tritons, garnering a respectable eighth place with a time of 6:29.3. Geffery Rapoport also did well for the Tritons, as he took the collegiate lightweight event with a time of 6:45.0.

    The freshman crew team was particularly impressive as they swiped eight of the top ten times. The first-year phenoms were led by Andrew Fisher with a time of 6:31.5.

    The rookies’ performance has coach Casey looking forward to the new season.

    “”The incoming freshman team is probably the best freshman team ever at UCSD,”” Casey said. “”The biggest thing I’m happy with is our depth and tenacity; also our willingness to work hard and meet the goals we set.””

    The varsity team, however, will be looking to recover from the loss of key contributors to graduation.

    “”The varsity will be good, but not as strong as last year,”” Casey said.

    Varsity head coach Michael Filippone will be looking for returnee Tom Whitzgall to lead this year’s varsity team to its goals, which include winning the Cal Cup for Division II/III and the San Diego Crew Classic on April 7 and April 8. The Tritons are looking to avenge last year’s loss, in which they came in second to Trinity University by less than a second. This year, UCSD has an extra incentive to beat Trinity as the previous freshman coach, Jim Oaks, is now an assistant for them.

    The Tritons are also seeking to extend their domination of their local adversaries.

    “”We definitely don’t like all the San Diego area schools,”” Casey said. “”Since Filippone has been here we haven’t lost to any of those schools. There’s this pride with not wanting to lose to them.””

    With such a strong freshman group, UCSD crew will most likely be dominating its neighbors for a long time to come.

    “”This program has a lot of potential,”” Casey said. “”Right now we’re probably the fifth-best program on the West Coast. We definitely have the athletes and the potential to be a top competitor.””

    Add the fact that their event on Sunday was 2,000 meters, which is more sprint-oriented and shorter than most programs are used to at this point in the year, and their dominance is even more impressive.

    “”We have a lot of depth,”” Casey said. “”The biggest thing right now is fitness and mental toughness.””

    To top it all off, the men’s crew team this year has already landed three top-notch recruits from Orange Coast College. These recruits will help UCSD extend its dynasty well into the future.

    The Tritons will be looking to build on Sunday’s performance this weekend, as they go head-to-head with Loyola Marymount in a preseason scrimmage at Mission Bay.

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