Many teams would have folded under the immense anxiety. But the Aggies just wouldn’t.
In spite of the cut of the women’s rowing program on Friday, the Aggies decided there was still something to play for this weekend at the NorCal/SoCal Challenge: Pride.
“In the face of adversity, they demonstrated unyielding courage and poise,” said coach Carissa Adams. “It’s important they know how proud I am of all the rowers. A lot people would have just given up.”
UC Davis hasn’t mailed it in all season so it wasn’t going to start with the last home race of the season.
The varsity eight posted its sixth win of the season when it narrowly defeated San Diego State. The Aggies had to stage another late-race comeback against the Aztecs and registered the winning time of six minutes and 46.08 seconds. San Diego State came just behind with a time of six minutes and 48.59 seconds.
Adams said she was thrilled with the effort but that the Aggies have to stop falling behind early in races.
“I think they’re conditioned very well,” Adams said. “We have to work on the first part of the race so we’re not always relying on a comeback.”
Adams feels that wins usually don’t come from an individual’s effort, but often through the chemistry of the entire boat.
“It was a team effort for sure,” Adams said. “It isn’t one person who makes or breaks a race.”
The varsity eight had already beaten St. Mary’s on Saturday with a time of six minutes and 58.97 seconds to advance.
The second varsity eight made it to the final day, but lost a close race to San Diego State with a time of seven minutes and 2.85 seconds. The Aztecs finished the race about two seconds ahead at seven minutes and .63 of a second.
The novice eight made it to Sunday with a win against the Gaels as well, but ended losing on Sunday to the Aztecs after posting a time of seven minutes 12.20 seconds. San Diego State had a slight edge for the win with a mark of seven minutes and 10.36 seconds.
With a win in the NorCal/SoCal Challenge, Adams knows this isn’t the time for her team to be satisfied with its performance.
“We need to focus the next couple of weeks on the first half of the race rather than the second half,” Adams said. “It gave us the opportunity to see what we need to do before the WIRA championships.”
Adams believes predicting wins in the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association would be meaningless since much of the competition is against teams the Aggies haven’t seen all season.
“We’re going against teams we haven’t faced yet, so only time will tell how we do,” she said.
MARCOS RODRIGUEZ can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.