On Wednesday morning, the Aztecs received a phone call with the exciting information; Parker Cup is on! Even though it was a little late, the team was happy and ready to get on the water and change the attitude from skill and drill week, into race week. The only catch was that the Parker cup would be raced in 4’s instead of the traditional 8 and that would be the only event of the day. Though SDSU has been committing to make the fastest 8’s this year, the athletes were up for something a little different and try their speed in a smaller shell. Coach Julia thought it would be pretty straight forward finding the four rowers and one coxswain who would stand out as the top boat; boy was she wrong. As it turned out, with any combination of rowers, the two 4’s were nearly always neck in neck. This, as most of you know is a great problem to have because it means depth, which was the most endearing part about preparing for this race. In the end, the best two line-ups were very close in speed and meshed exceptionally well together.
UC Irvine hosted the event for both SDSU and LMU and were very welcoming and accommodating. In the last few years, Irvine has gotten very competitive and we have loved the ongoing relationship we have with them. As the team hears all the time, you have to race fast programs in order to be fast yourself. Along with the two boats SDSU had entered in the event; UCIrvine had three and LMU one boat. All the coaches were able to watch the race from the safety launch which made for an even more exciting event. As the race went underway, all 6 boats were even until the 500m mark when the top 4 crews started moving a little away, at the 1,000m mark, the top two crews made some separation from the two SDSU boats who remained even with little give and take. From the launch, it was obvious that the exciting race to watch was between the two SDSU crews who came across the finish line only 1 second apart from each other.
With such a casual setting for the event, the three teams did 40sec sprint pieces back to the boathouse together; a great practice for camaraderie and respect for each other. Finishing off the day with a picture of all three programs with the Parker Cup trophy instead of an awards ceremony really solidified the nature of the event. It was a day for respecting your competitors, a day where the love of the sport was shared and celebrated. A big thank you to the family, friends and alumni who came out on such short notice. Always great to hear the cheering from the shore.
This week the team takes a week off of racing and will be able to get back to basics before the big Crew Classic Regatta 4/1, 4/2. We hope to see you all at our team Banquet with a silent auction 3/31.
Parker Cup Official Results;