Crew rows in Washington

    The UCSD men’s and women’s crew competed for the first time ever in the annual Head of the Lake Competition hosted by the University of Washington on Nov. 10. The women’s crew competed in three races — the open eight, open four and lightweight four — finishing last, eighth and first, respectively. The men’s crew competed in two — the open eight and the open double — and finished in sixth and last, respectively.

    Guardian file photo

    The men’s crew has only competed in one other event this season, the Newport Autumn Rowing Festival, and its next competition is Feb. 1.

    At the Head of the Lake, the Tritons finished strong behind Gonzaga University and Western Washington University, their strongest competition. Overall, Triton men’s head coach Michael Filippone is happy with the results.

    “”[At Newport], we didn’t race as well as we thought we could,”” Filippone said. “”We had a new varsity boat, but we’ve improved our speed. The eight race is the primary event; we can see how fast we are going against the competition.””

    Though they placed last for the open doubles with a time of 23:40.52, the men’s crew competed in the open eight with sophomore coxswain Shannon Oliver finishing sixth out of 10 teams at 16:37.89. The Tritons were 10 seconds behind Western Washington and one minute and 20 seconds behind Gonzaga.

    “”We’re right on pace,”” Filippone said.

    The women’s crew had amazing races in each event. In the open four, it placed eighth out of 13 squads with a time of 22:20.60. The women’s lightweight four, with junior coxswain Claire Romelfanger, placed first at 21:57.55 with the nearest competition a minute and a half behind.

    Unfortunately, there was one huge setback that UCSD had to face; since the meet was in Washington, the women’s crew had to borrow boats. While they practiced for the open eight, one of the oar locks broke, meaning only seven of the eight girls could row.

    “”The girls went to talk to the officials, and they said to either withdraw [from the race] or row with seven,”” said women’s crew head coach Patti Pinkerton.

    Unwilling to forfeit the race, the Tritons raced with only seven but finished the race with a time of 20:24.60.

    “”The coxswain [senior Claire Doyle] managed to run a good course, but had to use the rudder a lot,”” Pinkerton said.

    Despite the rudder slowing them down and the lack of one of their teammates, the Tritons managed to finish only a minute and a half behind rival Western Washington.

    The big winner in the competition was host University of Washington, which competed in 13 events and finished first in six races, second in five races, third in one race and fifth in another.

    The women’s crew’s next meet is March 2 at UC Irvine.

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