San Diego, Calif. (April 3, 2012) - After a six year hiatus, the men's rowing team debuted three boats at the 2012 San Diego Crew Classic this past weekend, including a boat comprised of Rollins graduates from 1994 through 2001.
"This is a trip I love to take," said head coach Shawn Pistor. "...but the teams need to be showing speed to commit to the trip."
This season, the men's rowing team has shown speed in each of their races. Both the varsity and novice 8 were undefeated heading into Saturday's event and moving well. The competition at the San Diego Crew Classic is some of the best in the country and includes teams that Rollins would rarely see throughout the season. This event is the largest 8-only competition in the country and is only meant to be raced unless you hold the speed needed to compete in this race.
The men's varsity 8 was the first on the slate to compete Saturday morning. The crew jumped off the line to an early lead, but at the 500m mark, slowly fell off pace. The excitement and adrenaline were too much for the crew and were unable to maintain the high stroke rating they initially began with. The men finished fifth in their heat with a time of 6:24.14 which earned them a spot in the third level final later that day. Rollins then went on to beat the second place team who had finished 12 seconds ahead of them in the heats earlier that morning.
"The lesson we learned (from the first race) is huge for us as we head into our state and southern championships over the next three weeks," added Pistor.
Much like the varsity 8 boat, the novice 8 faced similar tribulations. They got off the line with the pack and slowly fell off pace as the race progressed. Being the biggest race of the novice 8's career to date, the excitement got the better of them. The crew finished sixth, clocking a time of 6:54.69.
The only boat for Rollins competing Sunday was the Rollins Alumni boat consisting of cox Dan Kempinger, Shawn Pistor, Gavin Frase, Al Hancock, Brian Logue, Mike Spitzmiller, Ryan Santurri, Andy McGinnis and Rob Frase. The group, who gave themselves the name "Crab Catchers", continues to keep their oars in the water throughout the country. This boat competed in the Head of the Hooch in November 2011 and continues to row in alumni races throughout the country. Nonetheless, it was a great race for the alumni and the current rowers at Rollins who enjoyed seeing some of their alumni cruise on the waters.
With the San Diego Crew Classic in the books, the Tars have learned lessons that will pay dividends as they move close to SIRA and Dad Vails. Rollins will take to the waters once again on April 13 for FIRA, the state championship meet, held in Sarasota at Benderson Park.