The 1st Ever Running of the Josh Gruenberg Cup: Long Beach State, San Diego State, and USC
On this first Spring racing weekend of the 2013 season, the Aztec lower boats did quite well for themselves. Our Second Novice 8 and our Second Varsity 8 (J.V.) were both able to defeat crews from USC by multiple boat lengths. Neither of these races was very close as they came past the docks at the USC shellhouse (located at about the 1,500 meter mark of the racecourse) open water ahead!
In the first Novice 8 event, the Aztec yearlings won the start and led for a time – coming past the docks a couple of seats ahead. But they faltered in their first-ever sprint. With a couple of crabs occurring in the last 30 strokes, the Aztec Novice “A” boat lost by a little less than one boatlength to USC. Long Beach State’s Novice “A” boat was numerous boatlengths back. The Novices left the race course determined to work on their ability to sprint to the finish. This first Novice 8 of the season was composed of Jessica Santos at Cox, Kevin O’Mara at Stroke, Kyle Winchester at 7, Colin Byrne at 6, Marshall Kanute at 5, Ryan Williams at 4, Joe Dodson at 3, Brandt Watson at 3, and Scott Gerdes in Bow.
The Varsity event saw the Aztec premiere crew defeat Long Beach State for the first time in several years. But unfortunately, that occurred behind a race with USC that was lost by a couple of lengths. The Trojans had defeated the Aztecs in the Fall by a similar margin, and they appeared to have maintained that lead over the course of the Winter training months.
Taken together, it seemed to be a good day. Both the Varsity 8 and the First Novice 8 were involved in reasonably close losses, and the J.V. and Second Novice 8s stepped up and surprised people with their victories. The focus then turned to the Southern California Opening Day Regatta that was to be held in Long Beach Stadium on the next Saturday.