Men’s crew crowned San Diego City Champs

    There was no doubt following the San Diego City Championships at Mission Bay that the UCSD men’s crew team was more dominant than its hometown neighbors. The Tritons swept all four races against University of San Diego and San Diego State on April 11.

    Travis Ball
    Eight is enough:

    The race was originally scheduled for April 9, but heavy winds forced the coaches to reschedule the contest. However, the alteration to the schedule was more than a change of days. To avoid problems with any of the players’ personal obligations on April 10, the coaches of each of the three schools agreed to hold the race on April 11 at 6 a.m.

    “There was a much different atmosphere at the beginning of the race than usual,” junior and varsity oarsman Michael Bravo said. “The adrenaline just was not there.”

    The teams had to race earlier than the originally scheduled 8 a.m. starting time in order to finish before classes began later that morning.

    “The race seemed a little like a practice,” Andres Onetto, senior varsity captain said. “The race was lacking the hype of a weekend race.”

    The long break between practice and the race did not deter the Tritons.

    “We knew it would be difficult, but we knew what we had to do out there,” Bravo said.

    The varsity eight-boat, which placed first and clocked in at a personal record time of 6 minutes, 3 seconds, did not let rescheduling affect its outcome.

    “We kept a solid mental focus,” Bravo said. “And the outcome was good.”

    The Aztecs finished in second at 6:14, while the Toreros came in shortly after at 6:16.

    “SDSU and USD are both very competitive teams, but they seemed to have trouble getting things together,” Onetto said.

    The Tritons also swept all four races against both teams in 2004.

    “The main difference between our team and their squad is the number of quality guys that we have,” Onetto said. “All of our guys have the heart and spirit to go as fast as they can possibly go.”

    The varsity four-boat also turned in similar results in the City Championships. The Tritons clocked in at 6:39. USD finished slightly behind at 6:45 and SDSU completed the race at 7:21.

    “The good thing about our races is that we knew it was not our best,” Onetto said. “We left a lot of room for improvement.”

    The UCSD novice four-boat had the most dominant victory over USD. The Triton four-boat finished 18 seconds ahead of the Torero boat at 7:18, while USD clocked in at 7:36. The novice eight-boat also clearly finished ahead of USD. The Tritons finished at 6:13, and the Toreros came in shortly after at 6:21.

    “There was no way anyone could not be happy with our performance out there,” Bravo said. “The other teams had clearly improved, and we showed that we have gotten much better as well.”

    After becoming city champions, the Tritons have new goals that they hope to accomplish.

    “The varsity eight-boat’s major goal this season is to break six minutes,” Onetto said. “If everyone brings it, we can definitely beat that mark.”

    The team also hopes to finish ahead of their California rivals, UC Davis and Orange Coast College. UC Davis is one of the top teams in the state, and many Orange Coast College rowers eventually end up racing for men’s crew powerhouse UC Berkeley.

    “Orange Coast College does well every single year,” Bravo said. “It would be a huge accomplishment if we could beat them.”

    The UCSD men’s crew team will get a chance to break six minutes and defeat rival squads UC Davis and Orange Coast College this weekend on April 16 in the Newport Invitational in Newport Beach, Calif.

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