Crew seniors row off into the sunset

    UCSD men’s crew will graduate five seniors at the end of the spring quarter: Leo Shook, Dan Toth, Scott Destafney, Patrick Gruwell and Robert Babcock.

    Courtesy of UCSD Athletics

    “”At the end of the season, the varsity four proved we had Division I speed in our program,”” said UCSD head coach Michael Filippone.

    Shook, Toth and Destafney also helped row the varsity four into a first-place finish at the West Coast Rowing Championships and into the grand finals at the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships and Pac-10s.

    Additionally, Destafney sacrificed to help the varsity eight when he switched from rowing starboard to port in his senior year after rowing starboard during his entire rowing career.

    “”It is difficult for an athlete to change sides. It works completely different muscles and uses opposite movements. It just shows the athlete Scott is,”” Filippone said.

    Shook, the bow seat of the varsity four, was selected as the team’s most inspirational rower this year and last.

    “”[He’s] not only a stellar athlete, but a hard worker with a great attitude,”” Filippone said.

    A transfer out of Orange Coast College, Toth decided to concentrate on academics his first year at UCSD and forgo rowing. In his first season with the Tritons, he aided both the varsity eight and four.

    “”Dan had a great career with Orange Coast and we really could have used him last year,”” Filippone said. “”He was an asset to the team this year and we are glad he made the decision to row.””

    Babcock took part in the varsity eight at different meets throughout the season and was described by Filippone as “”a really solid athlete,”” and was “”pleased to have such an all-around great athlete on the team.””

    Beginning his career last year as a junior, Gruwell was a member of the novice eight and received a bid to the national championships after wining the Newport Invitational and coming in second at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association championships. Gruwell also received the honor of “”UCSD scholar-athlete of the year”” this season.

    “”Overall this is a great group of seniors,”” Filippone said. “”I would have loved to go faster in the eight at the end of the season before these guys left, but they are all great athletes who worked hard all year and during their entire UCSD rowing career.””

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