In emphatic style the UCLA Men's Rowing team has announced over the weekend that they are intending to bring home some trophies this season!
First up were the Novice Eight, who continued their great Fall season, with a breathtaking sprint to overtake UC Santa Barbara in the final home-straight. Freshman Coxswain Kate Hirth timed her crews late surge to perfection, and they were able to push out to a one second win in the difficult crosswind conditions. Making the result even more impressive is that all of the UCLA crew were Walk On athletes making their Sprint season debuts, while many of the other crews had rowers with years of High School experience. When powerhouse Julio Alvarado returns from his injury this team will only get stronger.
News of the Novice victory was relayed quickly to the Junior Varsity eight, who were up against a crew from UC San Diego who have been very strong over recent years. Mark Replogle
in the stroke seat dug deep to drive his team to a commanding lead out of the start block. With an open water lead the crew relaxed into their rhythm and controlled the outcome easily all the way down the race track. the many UCLA supporters were ecstatic to see a second UCLA crew cross the finishline as victors. Many of this Junior Varsity crew are still pushing their case for selection into the UCLA Varsity eight, and they will have been satisfied with the very quick time fo 6:00.8 that they achieved despite little pressure from the opposition.
With the UCLA women's rowing team also winning all the races they entered, it was up to the Men's Varsity Eight to complete the clean-sweep in the last event of the day. Due to the unfavorable side wind the UC Santa Barbara crew was blown into the side of the UCLA Varsity eight just as the starters gun was fired, and this initial issue cost the crew a clean and quick start. UC Irvine, UC Davis, UC San Diego all seized upon the opportunity this boat clash created and surged out to what is usually a decisive and unassailable lead. Luckily the experienced coxing from Club President Madelyn Avjean
, and clear leadership from the stern pair of Dominic Pardini
and Zach Alter
created a strong comeback that saw the crew slowly and consistently eat into the others crews lead. With 500m to go the UCLA crew had an overlap with the three race leaders and by the finish line had almost surged up into 2nd place behind UC San Diego. However UC Davis held on and the UCLA Varsity eight had to be content with 3rd place.
The team was very excited to be announced as the winners of the Team Trophy, the Henry Nicholas III Cup. The first Team Points trophy the team has won in several season's. Fittingly, Henry Nicholas III is a UCLA Alumni who was on hand to award the trophy to the generation of Oarsman following him through the Marina Del Rey boathouse.