Men's crew can't shake off bad showing

    UCSD men’s crew had a dissapointing performance at the San Diego City Championships on April 19. The varsity eight finished the 2,000-meter race 25 seconds behind the winner, SDSU. According to men’s crew head coach Michael Filippone, the poor showing “”is no indication of the ability of the athletes on the team.””

    “”[That] proves something was not clicking fundamentally, and it is now the responsibility of the varsity team to adapt to the situation and find the speed they are capable of,”” Filippone said.

    After the loss at the San Diego Crew Classic on April 6, coaches and rowers had hoped to prove that the men’s crew could bounce back and prove its speed at the San Diego City Championships; however, the continual effect of Eric Hardeman’s injury on the consistency of the lineup was prominent once again.

    “”Ever since that major injury, we haven’t yet regained our footing. I will continue to try different combinations of guys until we find out what works for the state championships,”” Filippone said.

    Crew is a team sport, meaning that no matter how strong each individual athlete is, the races require eight men to gel into one machine.

    “”The athletes this year are some of the strongest and most dedicated guys I have worked with, but the forced lineup changes in the end of the season where there is no margin for error have been detrimental to the results,”” Filippone said.

    Filippone usually builds a team of athletes over the course of a season, expecting them to learn to row and grow together. This is why one major injury on the port side of his lineup had such an impact.

    “”The port side has always been our weaker side simply because we didn’t have a lot of depth to support the top athletes, so with the injury we were forced to replace Hardeman with a starboard rower, which greatly affected the rhythm in the boat,”” he said.

    Though the varsity team has been facing problems, the novice continues to outrow the competition. The novice four won its race, beating both SDSU and USD by over five seconds. Additionally, the junior varsity eight came out on top leaving SDSU boat lengths behind, winning by 30 seconds.

    “”The novice rowers have really gained speed in the last couple of races. They have become the fastest novice crew in San Diego,”” Filippone said. “”However, it is the varsity that carries the banner for the school. You can win all the novice races and still lose the regatta.””

    With just three races left, Filippone is still working to get the varsity to row at the speed they are capable of.

    “”Hardeman was back for a few days but a re-injury to his back puts him out for the rest of the season. For the next couple weeks, we will continue to try different combinations until the boat gels and is ready to race,”” Filippone said.

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