The three-day regatta, held in Mission Bay, hosted 4,000 athletes from some of the best teams in the nation— including UCLA, Gonzaga and USC on the men’s side and seven-time defending national champions Western Washington on the women’s side.
On Saturday, March 31, the women’s varsity eight, men’s novice and men’s second varsity eight all recorded second-place finishes in the first day of competition.
On the men’s side, the Tritons failed to reach last year’s high water mark. The men’s varsity eight finished last in their heat, as UCSD fell to Harvard, Cornell and University of British Columbia, despite clocking a quick 6:14.588 time.
“We knew going into the Crew Classic that we needed to perform well,” varsity eight rower Ashley Travaglione said. “We hadn’t put together a solid race, but after coming off a week of technical/speed work practices, I think we all were feeling ready for the weekend.”
In a field featuring Central Oklahoma, Western Washington, Mills College, UCSB and Chapman, the women’s varsity eight boat finished with a time of 7:25.43, good for second place just behind Central Oklahoma. The Triton women also competed in the Carley Copley Cup, finishing fifth amongst Division-I opponents.
In the second day of competition, the Triton varsity eight advanced to the final, where they placed fourth behind Humboldt, Central Oklahoma and UCSB’s A shell, with a solid time of 7:54.32. While the Triton novice topped their heat with a time of 8:20.45. “We’re very pleased with our fourth place finish in [the Grand Final], qualifying for the race so we’re pretty excited,” varsity eight captain Alyssa Dixon-Word said. “Our freshmen placed first in their event, which was very exciting. They obviously have a lot of talent.” On Monday, April 1, UCSD faced off against Western Washington, falling to the Vikings by just under 30 seconds. The Tritons honored their five graduating seniors — Carolyn Belak, Katie Holstein, Natassia Peterson and Ellen Umeda — at their last home meet of the year.
The Tritons have three weeks to prepare for their next regatta, to be held in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Travaglione says the Tritons will be working hard in the interim to claim a place in the national tournament.
“Overall, we did extremely well and hopefully we will continue to improve for regionals so we can qualify for nationals,” Travaglione said. “After having a week of triple and double days, I think everyone was happy with our performances.”