Rowers Turn out Strong First Meet

    UCSD’s lineup for the Fall Classic consisted of sophomore Lisa Yen at coxswain, senior Jesi Bennett at stroke with seniors Wanda Chin, Summer Austin and Jamie Bigwood; juniors Denise Kleckner, Courtney Escajeda and Lynn Nguyen and sophomore Brigitte Ngo-Trinh rounding out the Triton eight boat.

    Starting the season with just three returnees from last year’s varsity eight, the Tritons’ performance at the San Diego Fall Classic was a good sign for the team’s upcoming meets.

    “Our team is often smaller than the competition, and our goal is to outrow them by being a better team and training smarter,” head coach Pattie Pinkerton said. “This year’s varsity is working very hard at improving, and we are seeing the results on the water. We’ll see the real benefit in the spring when they are more confident with the changes.”

    Crew has both a fall and spring season on the quarter system, which has both drawbacks and advantages for the coaches and players. “Fall races are always a challenge for us, because with the quarter system, we start about a month after USD and SDSU,” Pinkerton said. “They do, however, give us an opportunity to assess the competition and give us a benchmark. We know what we will have to do in the spring. If we want to be competitive on a national level, we have to bring the race to our local D-I programs.”

    UCSD’s other boats also battled to the finish, but came up slightly short against their competitors. The Tritons’ varsity four-boat placed fourth in its race against the University of San Diego with a time of 24:13. The Toreros’ A-boat bested the Tritons by four minutes, coming in first at 20:38.

    In the novice eight-boat event, UCSD finished behind San Diego State University and the University of San Diego, earning times of 27:56 and 28:27, respectively.

    According to Pinkerton, fall regattas such as the San Diego Fall Classic allow the Tritons to better assemble the team.

    “We are working to incorporate our incoming freshmen, our returning novice rowers and the returning varsity,” Pinkerton said. “They are all on slightly different points in their technical expertise. In the fall, we have the opportunity to focus on making technical improvements that can have profound effects on our speed in the spring. I’ve been deeply impressed by the focus of this year’s team.”

    The Tritons, who are back in action on Sat., Nov. 14 for the UCSD College Challenge, are looking to build upon their solid opening performance. The inter-squad regatta will give the Tritons one last chance to finetune before the spring season.

    The event is slated for 7 a.m. at Mission Bay, and will conclude the fall schedule for the UCSD women’s crew team.

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