Crew Find a Place on the Podium

     

    Both the UCSD men’s and women’s crew teams performed well at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships this past weekend, taking home a combined five medals. The opening day of competition for the WIRA conference championships took place on Saturday, April 27, while the finals were held the following day. All races were held at Lake Natoma, roughly 30 minutes outside of Sacramento, Calif.

    The men’s team took home two medals. Their junior varsity eight-man crew claimed bronze with a 6:14.5 mark, behind UC Santa Barbara, which took home gold with a 6:09.6 mark, and second-place San Diego State, which beat out the Tritons by 1.2 seconds. Each team placed first in its respective group’s heat on Saturday to secure a spot in the finals on Sunday.

    The varsity eight-man crew put up a 6:12.2 mark to place second in its finals row, taking home the silver medal. The Tritons were beat out by Gonzaga University, which recorded a 6:08.5 time to take gold. The Tritons placed sixth in both the varsity four-man and novice eight-man finals with times of 7:11.2 and 6:23.8, respectively.

    Taking the silver medal was enough to solidify a UCSD spot in the upcoming Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta May 31 to June 2. The men’s team will next be in action on Sunday, May 19, when it competes in the Pac-12 Championships. Both meets will again take place at Lake Natoma.
       
    The women were every bit as successful as their male counterparts, taking home three medals. The Tritons received bronze medals in the varsity four-man and junior varsity eight-man finals. UCSD’s varsity four-man squad rowed a 7:44.6, beat out by Western Washington University’s 7:41.7 and Humboldt State’s 7:43.0, while its junior varsity eight-man crew rowed a 7:22.9, behind Western Washington’s 7:14.5 and UCSB’s 7:21.4 marks.

    “Overall, we had a great weekend,” senior Ashley Travaglione said. “To go from last year, where no one was on the podium, to this year, where all of varsity was on the podium, just showed how far we’ve come. I think after the [San Diego Crew Classic], we focused in a lot more, and there was a change in how we practiced and carried ourselves, and that showed last weekend.”

    In the varsity eight-man final, UCSD claimed the silver medal in a photo finish, just barely coming in second to Western Washington. UCSD finished the race in 7:00.9, while Western Washington recorded a 7:00.1 time. In Saturday’s qualifying heats, UCSD beat Western Washington to take first heading into the Sunday final but couldn’t repeat its performance.

    The Tritons had two ladies, Travaglione and junior Michelle Robbins, named to the all-WIRA first team and had seniors Alyssa Dixon-Word and Tanya Vander Vis named to the all-WIRA second team.
    “It was definitely unexpected — I didn’t know I was going to get it,” Travaglione said. “But it shows that hard work will be appreciated.”

    This upcoming weekend, May 4, the women’s team will compete in a scrimmage against San Diego State at Mission Bay. Following that, the Tritons will compete in the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, Pa., May 10 and May 11. Both will serve as tune-ups for the approaching NCAA Championships May 31 to June 2 in Indianapolis, Ind.

    “We need to do well this weekend at Dan Vail so that we fortify the [Varsity 8] and make sure the [Varsity 4] get into nationals,” Travaglione said. “But honestly, whichever boats are going are going to do well.”

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