The No. 1 Virginia rowing team competed against a vaunted lineup of fellow national championship contenders at this past weekend’s San Diego Crew Classic. Although the Cavaliers failed to capture a grand final title in the Varsity Eight, Varsity Four or Novice Eight races, they more than held their own against a murderer’s row of juggernauts from the West Coast, including No. 2 California, No. 6 Southern California and No. 7 Washington.
After advancing all five boats — two each in the Varsity Eight and Varsity Four classifications and one in Novice Eight— to the grand final round Saturday, Virginia opened Sunday with the Varsity Eight competition for the Jessop-Whittier Cup. Southern California won the race in 6:25.30, while California edged the Cavaliers by less than a second for second place. Virginia’s 6:28.71 was good for third.
In the Second Varsity Eight tussle for the Jackie Ann Stitt Hungness Trophy, Virginia’s second squad finished fourth with 6:38.88 behind Southern California, California and Washington.
The Varsity Four Cavaliers followed with another fourth-place finish in the Karen Plumleigh Cortney Cup grand final in 7:28.87. The second Varsity Four followed in hot pursuit, claiming fifth with a time of 7:30.38. Southern California’s 7:23.87 earned the Trojans their third major trophy of the afternoon.
Finally, in the Novice Eight race — in which only rowers with less than a year of college experience can compete — Virginia finished a distant fourth behind Washington.
The squad will travel to the Clemson Invitational April 20-21 before hosting the UVA Invitational at Lake Monticello the next weekend.