Men's crew comes up big in first race of the year

    Men’s crew kicked off the 2001-2002 season with strong performances against UC Irvine and Long Beach State this weekend.

    Many rowers knew it was critical to start the season strong even before they took to the water against UC Irvine.

    “”This weekend’s races are definitely an indicator of where the team stands right now,”” said Catherine Stringer, the men’s varsity coxswain. “”Because we spent more time doing land training this winter than most of the other southern California teams, we have a lot more potential and will peak later on in the season.””

    In Newport Beach, Calif., the men’s varsity eight squad flexed its muscles as it came up big, powering its way to a time of 6:09, compared to Irvine’s 6:20.

    “”It was a great race,”” said Michael Fillipone, head coach of men’s crew. “”We were prepared and on time. Our execution was strong and we know how fast we can go for the future.””

    The depth of the squad was evident; many freshmen and sophomores stepped up to take the responsibility of getting the Tritons to the finish line first. Combined with senior leadership and the ability of the youngsters on the team to bring energy to the water, men’s varsity looks confident.

    “”Every pair of rowers is responsible for making the boat fly,”” Stringer said. “”Our stern pair, Yukio King and Barak Smith, set the pace for the boat. The middle four rowers in the boat, or the “”engine room,”” are the guys we rely on to move the boat during a race. Brian Sullivan Scott Destafney Andrew Fischer and Bobby Babcock were instrumental in our performance this weekend.””

    The UCSD novice four beat the UC Irvine novice four boat handily, while the UC Irvine novice eight boat edged the Tritons in a close race that came down to the wire.

    The team then traveled to Marine Stadium to face a tough Long Beach State team March 3. In a grueling race that had many lead changes, the UCSD varsity eight boat lost by just a second to the Long Beach varsity boat as it posted a time of 6:15.

    “”The varsity eight squad raced well, but not really to its full potential,”” Fillipone said. “”I am positive we will rebound and be more consistent as the season rolls along.””

    In the men’s junior varsity eight race, the Tritons took command of the race and won by a comfortable margin against the junior varsity eight squad of Long Beach State. In the race several novice rowers on UCSD came up and helped the boat cruise to victory.

    UCSD rowers believe that they are going to get even better as the season rolls along.

    As Catherine Stringer said, “”It is still very early in the season for us, but the fact that we raced well in back-to-back dual races says a lot about the potential of the boat.””

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