The Aztec postseason ended with a varsity 8 and novice 8 going to our national championship; ACRA in Gainesville Georgia. Due to weather, the schedule had to be drastically changed and took all boats into a time trial for finals. This is a great way to have a timed race just in case the entire regatta needed to be canceled as storm Andre was scheduled to come right through the course. Fortunately, the storm never came but unfortunately, the Aztec time trials did not live up to expectations. The original schedule called for semi-finals as well as reps before the finals so giving crews more opportunities to advance since we had to change the schedule, the time trial was everyone’s only shot. Going into our finals we knew that since the regatta has picked up so much popularity in the last few years, both the events were highly subscribed and all finals had potential for fast, competitive racing.
Just before the novice final, there was severe fog and the race was delayed for over an hour. Our young rowers stayed positive out there on the misty water though with the rest of the competition waiting for the course to open. During that time, the competitors made the most out of it and got to know each other, playing a game of “invisible catch”. Because of the delay, multiple finals had to be combined making for a very full course and an incredibly exciting fight down the course. Though the novice did not place where we believe they could have, it was more than uplifting talking to the athletes after their race. They were happy, excited to row on the varsity team and laughing about the fun they had with the other crews on the water. These are the moments novice will remember. This year we had a wonderful group of novice join the team, they not only embraced the culture of our squad but they quickly contributed to the positive qualities we pride ourselves on. We always say that novice are the future of the team and with these men and women joining the current varsity next fall, our future looks great.
The varsity boat final was absolutely one to remember with a dogfight all the way down the 2,000m course. The race was determined by a photo finish which put us .1 second behind Georgia and .5 ahead of third place Ohio State University. We were happy with the time we posted and that the training we had done leading up to the race was the kicker that pushed them all the way down the course. A wonderful way to end the year, the season and for our seniors, a career. All results can be seen in full at www.americancollegiaterowing.com
Though we are excited to advance this highly skilled class of novice to the varsity squad in the fall, we are also very sad to be graduating so many influential members. It has been a difficult year recognizing that these athletes are finishing up their time on the squad and maybe the very reason this recap is coming out later than normal. This is the final word on it, they are officially alumni and we hope they stay in contact with the program. Our group of wonderful alumni has grown substantially and I know they will be just as positive an influence on the other side of this program as they were on the team. So, one more time, thank you:
Haakon Jonsmyr, Brett Stinson, Ross Wong, Marielle Limbo, Ronnie Trost and Philip Pentsakov!!!!!!!!
A few more thank you’s to James Baluyut, who was our never-wavering alumni cheer squad in Georgia even in torrential downpours! And to the Stiffler’s, who generously donated hotel rooms to our tired and grouchy coaches who drove a full trailer to Gainesville and back. Nothing better than knowing a comfy bed is waiting for you at the end of a long drive, THANK YOU!
We cannot wait for the team to get back but in the meantime, enjoy your summer!
Cheers and GO AZTECS!