SDSU versus Arizona State and USC
Making the trip out to the desert for the third year in a row, the Aztecs of 2013 were greeted by a fully buoyed, 2,000 meter race course that was put into operation for the first time ever that weekend. As was the case with racing at Opening Day the previous weekend, final results were mixed for the Aztecs. However, another upset victory was pulled by the First Novice 8, and excellent performances were turned in by several other crews.
In the 4s racing, our Varsity finished behind an experienced 4 from USC, but still – as was the case the week before – “in the hunt” down to nearly the very end of the race. In the Novice 4 our heavyweight crew faltered a bit, and brought up the rear. This was doubly disconcerting as this was the same crew that suffered from breakage the week before. But a lightweight 4 that was sent to the line with no practicing together whatsoever – “just to get the experience” – ended up chasing the victorious Trojans from USC all of the way to the finish line … and along the way defeated the four best novices from Arizona State! This second place performance was all the more sweet when one reflects upon the fact that the USC crew was made up of 100% high school rowers.
Above: “Our Novice ‘A’ defeating USC’s ‘A’ boat by 11 seconds … two weeks after losing to them by a length.'”
In the Varsity 8 race, USC won again, as they had at the Gruenberg Cup two weeks before. But in one of the surprises of the day, our Lightweight Varsity 8 came in second … defeating Arizona State’s Heavyweights, our own Heavyweights, and USC’s Junior Varsity. So even though they had to give shirts to the Trojans in the end, the Lightweights defeated three heavyweight crews … and appeared to be setting themselves up for a successful run later on in the year … when they would (finally) be racing in their own classification against lightweights.
And then – once again – an upset was pulled by the Novices. The First Novice 8 dominated the very same USC crew that had defeated them by 3 seconds two weeks before = the final measure of victory was an incredible 3 1/2 boatlengths! The Aztec yearlings had open water on the field after just 500 meters in what must have been quite a shocker to the Trojans. In the very same race, our First Novice 8 defeated Arizona State by 5 boatlengths … and our Second Novice 8 defeated USC’s Second Novice 8 (again) by 3 1/2 lengths.
The San Diego State Aztecs drove back form the desert in pretty high spirits, thinking that this was going to be the best season in many years. Sweetening up the trip home was the fact that the Aztec Novices now possessed USC shirts!