Women's crew excels in Arizona

    UCSD women’s crew traveled to Tempe, Ariz., to participate in the Grand Canyon Winter Games on March 10.

    Head coach Pattie Pinkerton said it was excellent preparation for the season championships, where the players will need to travel and compete twice in a day.

    Each Triton boat performed well, placing within the top three in every race. The women’s novice eight final saw two UCSD teams take home trophies. The UCSD A team, led by coxswain freshman Kim Robbins, placed first. The UCSD B team piloted by coxswain Christina Lee finished second.

    In the women’s open four final, UCSD again placed first and second when the varsity team, led by junior Claire Doyle, netted the victory. The B team, led by sophomore Claire Romelfanger, followed closely.

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    “”I was very pleased with the results from Sunday’s regatta,”” Pinkerton said. “”The regatta on Sunday produced some good consistent results, and our times indicate that if we continue to improve, we can be very competitive by the end of the season.””

    The last two races of the event showed the depth of Triton women’s crew. In the women’s novice four final, the UCSD A team repeated its earlier victory to take first place while the UCSD B team, steered by freshman Christina Lee, placed second. The last match, however, ended with controversy.

    In the women’s open eight final, varsity had a shaky start and could not fully recover to keep pace with the team from Los Angeles Recreational College-UCLA. The UCSD A team finished 1.5 seconds behind LARC-UCLA to claim second place. The Tritons’ B boat came in third but was fouled by the LARC-UCLA boat. Officials agreed that LARC-UCLA fouled the B boat by leaving its lane, but did not disqualify LARC-UCLA on the basis that it would not have affected the overall placing of the teams.

    “”I was pleased that the coxswains called a great race and did everything they could to protect their crews,”” Pinkerton said. “”While the officials’ outcome was disappointing, the coxswains demonstrated that they can handle tough situations and look after their crews.””

    The team looks forward to rowing at the San Diego Crew Classic at Mission Bay on April 6 and April 7. This is the first time the Crew Classic has established a separate Division II-III race, and as Pinkerton added, “”the outcome is very important to us.””

    Many of the players believe that the team can finish in the top three in the SDCC.

    “”We have a lot of strength and are rowing well together,”” said senior varsity rower Jennifer Wolsborn. “”The only thing that I can really hope for is to have a race in which we have no regrets, knowing that we each gave all we possibly could so that nothing is left at the finish line.””

    A deciding race will take place May 17 through May 18 in the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships. That is where the teams in Division II-III will know if they will be in the field at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Rowing Championships in Eagle Creek, Ind. Pinkerton has a good feeling about getting to that tournament.

    “”With nine weeks to the qualifying race,”” Pinkerton said, “”I feel we are in a very good position to challenge the favorites. We are about six to seven seconds off the pace we will need over 2,000 meters for the PCRC, and we have nine weeks to develop it … I think that with our young team, we can improve every race.””

    UCSD women’s crew has a tough schedule ahead, but also has a lot to be excited about, as seen from the weekend’s results.

    “”We dedicate a lot to this sport and all the time we spend training,”” said Wolsborn. “”On the water, on the rowing machines and in the weight room, it’s already apparent and we have seen great improvement. I feel as though we have the depth, commitment, talent and the heart to finish our season so that we are happy with our results.””

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