Last week the Aztecs were on spring break, and though those two words together usually bring up thoughts of fruity drinks and late nights; our athletes associate it with hard work, two-a-days and BROOMBALL! Spring break this year fell on the week right before the San Diego Crew Classic Regatta so in addition to the teams regular “drill em into the ground” schedule, there was also the added pressure of making sure training would benefit a regatta week. Spring Break for the Aztecs has adopted a few new traditions; Broomball and the talent show. Neither one disappointed for entertainment points this year, as you can view some of the videos on the team website. Next year the team will have an open invitation for anyone brave enough to venture onto the ice so those interested might want to purchase some “icy hot” in advance.
The evening before the big race, the Aztecs hosted the annual Banquet with a new twist this year being the silent auction. Thank you to everyone who donated, the team was just trying this out this year to see if it would bring any interest and it surpassed every goal. Since it was our first year the team did the silent auction, the goal was $500 to call it a success. Well, because of all of you who donated and bid, the final profit was over $1,000! Next year a few live auction items will be added along with the silent bidding. The banquet also took a new format with an officer MC, who ran the show as well as gave a live performance of a song he wrote about his experiences on the team. We hope for an encore next year so mark your calendars now.
The Crew Classic regatta is one of the largest in the country and is in the Aztecs back yard. This year, the team fielded three boats; a Varsity, Junior Varsity and Novice line-up. The heats ran on Saturday with all three crews facing challenging competitors. The Varsity boat made their goal and cruised easily into the second final on Sunday; the JV had their final later on Saturday and the Novice boat was not able to edge themselves into a final. The Novice boat was disappointed but Coach Craig was able to identify where the work needs to be done in the coming weeks before WIRA, the regional championship.
Both the JV and V8 finals were fights to the finish, very exciting races to watch. At the banquet; varsity Captain; Azael Castro mentioned his favorite quote from former varsity coach, Doug Perez; “the races you fight for the whole way are the ones you remember, even more than the ones you win by a mile.” It was a perfect homage to this quote the way the Aztecs rowed in their respective heats. In the end, both crews ended up succumbing to the competition but within seconds. Coach Julia Gamache said “The way our two crews fought all the way down the course is exactly the raw fight we have been missing in the past. Even though we did not come out ahead in the end, the fact that we awakened that fire gives me great confidence in our ability coming into WIRA”.
The Aztecs have a few weeks to train before the regional championship in Sacramento and as always hope to see as many friendly faces as possible. The support this year was truly highlighted over the crew classic weekend and is, as always, a reminder to the team that this family is larger than just those who race. Thank you to everyone who came out, your support is what keeps us on the water.