OSU Kicks Off Season In Fine Fashion In San Diego

April 5, 2003

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - -

All three of Oregon State's men's boats advanced to their respective Grand Finals with strong heat races on Saturday at the San Diego Crew Classic on Mission Bay.

The novice eight led the way by winning their heat race, upsetting Washington in the process. The varsity eight finished third in heat 'B' of the Copley Cup, and the junior varsity finished second.

In the varsity eight race, OSU put together a strong second 1,000 meters to finish with a time of six minutes, 18.7 seconds to finish 2.7 seconds behind Temple. Cal claimed the victory with a mark of 6:11.9.

'The varsity eight had a fine race, but I think some of the people in the boat gotcaught a little off guard with this being their first race in the varsity boat,' OSU coach Kjell Oswald said. 'We just didn't quite have the intensity that we need at this level, but we did what we needed to do to get to the Grand Final.'

OSU's competition for Sunday's Copley Cup Grand Final will be Heat 'A' winner Washington, Cal, Temple, Stanford, and California-Davis.

In perhaps the most exciting race of the day, OSU's novice eight scored a narrow come-from-behind win over Washington by 0.25 seconds with a time of 6:28.6.

The Huskies pulled out to an open-water lead in the first 500 meters and maintained a length lead heading into the final 500. OSU dug in over the last 250 meters of the course and pulled ahead on its last few strokes to earn the victory.

'I think the freshmen rowed the best race of the day for us,' Oswald said. 'They rowed their race plan and didn't let the competition change what they wanted to do.

'The fact that this was the first race ever for seven of the guys in that boat shows tremendous maturity. Steve has done a tremendous job with that group,' Oswald said of freshman/novice coach Steve Todd.

OSU's time proved to be the fastest of any novice eight in Saturday's three heat races.

OSU's junior varsity finished second in its race, just over seven seconds back of UW, crossing the line in a time of 6:45.8 to the Husky's 6:38.6. Though UW had a length lead throughout the race, the Beavers were over 22 seconds ahead of Minnesota, which was the next closest crew.

'The JV rowed a great race against one of the fastest crews in the country,' Oswald said of his team's performance against Washington. 'They rowed a fierce race without any crews near them. They were quite a bit up on the rest of the boats, and Washington was out in front, so it was a matter of finding their intensity without having another boat right next to them, and they did that.'

OSU's three crews row Sunday afternoon, with the Copley Cup Grand Final beginning at 2:50.

RESULTS (2,000-meter Mission Bay course)

COPLEY CUP, HEAT 'B' (VARSITY EIGHT) - 1. California 6:11.9; 2. Temple 6:16; 3. Oregon State 6:18.7; 4. Purdue 6:27.5; 5. Sacramento State 6:52.6

JV EIGHT - 1. Washington 6:38.6; 2. Oregon State 6:45.8; 3. Minnesota 7:08.5; 4. UC-Irvine7:14.7; 5. Santa Clara 7:16.5; 6. San Diego State 8:18.

NOVICE EIGHT - 1. Oregon State 6:28.6; 2. Washington 6:28.85; 3. Orange Coast College 6:40.4; 4. UC-Davis 6:41.9; 5. Notre Dame 6:57.96; 6. USC 7:02.26; 7. St. Mary's 7:31.2.

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