The fall semester of 2018 concludes with Aztec Rowing seeing more success on and off the water. Coming in to the semester, the team only had 4 returners from the Varsity 8 of Spring 2018, but athletes from our stellar Novice class who was ranked 8th in the nation Spring 2018 and hungry athletes coming up from the JV boat filled in the gaps nicely. In addition, we welcomed 25 new novice rowers and coxswains bringing our team total up to 50, with 25 athletes being on varsity.
Hungry for success, this fall season has been more demanding in years past. Training volume has increased, and every athlete has risen to the occasion and shown a high level of toughness and grit. The results have shown this past fall, and we hope to continue riding that wave into spring.
We have 3 races this past fall: Head of the American, San Diego Fall Classic, and Head of the Harbor. We took our V8 and top novice boat to Head of the American. It was a solid start to our season, as novice took fourth overall and varsity took a respectable 13th place out of 30 entries, with the top 12 consisting of 4 Cal boats, Gonzaga, and the 2017 National Champions UC Santa Barbara.
Building on that momentum, the squad competed in the San Diego Fall Classic where most of the novice team experienced their first collegiate regatta. We entered many boats and were able to try a lot of lineups, as four Varsity 4s were entered as well as 2 Varsity 8s. Novice had a big showing with 2 8s. The heavyweight 4 took 8th place in a field where places 4-8 were separated by 8 seconds, a very close margin for a head race.
The final race, Head of the Harbor, was where we had the most success. We entered a total of 7 boats, and all of them performed very well against the likes of UC Davis, UCSB, Long Beach State and USCA. The 2nd Novice 8 won their race, and the heavyweight 4, building on their success of Fall Classic, got 2nd overall, beating out a very fast and tough UCSB heavyweight four.
As we look to the spring, we are in an incredible position to do damage and make a name for ourselves. With 50 athletes, very promising results from fall racing and a great team work ethic, we are in a great position to succeed.