There’s a phrase that most rowing coaches use to warn their team: Don’t run out of water. The warning serves to remind rowers that in the end – even if they’re on the stronger team – the first team to cross the line is still the winner.
Unfortunately for UC Davis this weekend, it ran out of water on Saturday.
It was a nail-biter to the very end in the women’s varsity duels with Sacramento State over the weekend.
The Aggies had a strong finishing split, but it was too little, too late. The varsity eight started off hot, leading the Hornets through first 500 meters only to be overtaken during the middle thousand meters.
Leading into the final 500 meters, the Aggies had fallen back a length. With an impressive sprint, UC Davis managed to climb back on the Hornets‘ deck. Sacramento State squelched out a narrow 1.5-second win. The Aggies posted their fastest time of the season (6:48.2).
On the line for the varsity eight was the Jean Runyon Cup, which has now been claimed by Sacramento State an impressive 10 times. UC Davis had won the previous two Aggies-Hornets matchups.
The second varsity race also brought about a great finishing sprint for the Aggies. The Hornets managed another two-second win in a time of 7:05.9.
The UC Davis women’s second novice eight, meanwhile, continued its successful season by claiming a victory over Sacramento State’s second novice. The second novices put together a time of 7:17.9, crushing the Hornets‘ time by 40 seconds. It proved to be the Aggies‘ lone win of the day.
With the loss, the Hornets picked up five points for the Causeway Cup Classic, clinching the title for Sacramento State for the 2009-2010 school year.
“Although it was tough losing the Jean Runyon Cup this year, I feel we have come away with a lot of information to help gain some speed for our championship race next weekend,” said coach Carissa Adams.
The Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships are to be held at Lake Natomas starting Saturday.
The regatta will showcase the top men’s and women’s crews on the West Coast. It will feature crews from San Diego, Washington and Gonzaga, among others.
ANDREA GUTIERREZ can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.