Loyola-Marymount University, SDSU, and U.C. Irvine
In the only home race of the season other than the Crew Classic, SDSU hosted the Lions of Loyola and the Anteaters of UCI in what has become a tradition that is now in its fourth decade; the Parker Cup. The featured event of the weekend was disconcerting for the Aztecs, as not only Irvine’s powerful crew (eventual W.I.R.A. Champions) but Loyola’s Varsity 8 also bested the Aztecs on their home course. And in a disappointing “surprise” of sorts, our Second Novice 8 lost by a substantial margin to UCI … after showing so much promise in the first several weeks of the season.
But happy results were nevertheless still to come. The First Novice 8 continued on with its winning ways … defeating Loyola-Marymount by numerous boatlengths and besting Irvine by more than ten seconds. By this time – only three races into their SDSU experience – the Aztec first year men had already defeated seven novice crews from Southern California and Arizona. Of course, at this point of the season, their victories were still “surprises” of sorts; nobody could reasonably have expected our “genuine novice,” first year rowers would continue on to defeat crews with experienced, high school rowers in them (such as UCSD, UCSB, UCI, and USC)!
But there was more. Finally racing as lightweights against other lightweights, our Varsity Light 8 defeated Loyola-Marymount by two boatlengths. In taking this victory from the visiting Lions, SDSU’s Varsity Lights took the first shirts earned by any Aztec Varsity crew in more than two years! As was the case with the Novice 8, nobody could have known at this juncture that this victory was just the tip of the proverbial ice burg for the Aztec Lights. As the season progressed, these men marched the SDSU Lightweight program back into the West Coast lightweight spotlight!
At the end of the day, the entire program turned its sights toward the Newport Regatta, a traditional affair that was holding its 40th annual event = giving it a history that is as long as that of the San Diego Crew Classic!