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Toreros Take On Aztecs In Season Opener

Feb. 21, 2007

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - In their first race of the spring season, the Toreros took on San Diego State and Orange Coast College this past weekend. Because the event was a scrimmage, and not a 2000-meter race, all three of the teams participated in pieces of various lengths with stroke-rating caps ranging fro 8 minutes at a 22 stroke rating, to 1 minute at open rating. In the Varsity 8+ event, the Aztecs narrowly edged out the Toreros in four out of five pieces, although the two boats were neck-in-neck throughout all of the pieces, and the finish margins were within a boat length. The Toreros 8+ handled SDSU's Second Varsity 8+ and OCC's Varsity 8+ quite easily, beating them with open water each time.

In the Fours event, the Toreros traded pieces with the Aztecs in some very tight racing, and easily handled Orange Coast College and State's Second 4+. In the Novice Eights races, the Aztecs dominated the Toreros in all pieces, finishing ahead with open water. Unfortunately, the OCC Novice 8+ had to cut their participation short when they crashed into a buoy early in the racing set. Their boat was too damaged to continue.

"I was really pleased with this weekend's racing," commented Head Coach, Joan O'Hara. "Our first outing of the season, this was our opportunity to evaluate the specific aspects of our technique and fitness that we have been focusing on since January's camp. Every thing we have worked on to date the girls seem to be incorporating quite well. We are still very early in our training cycle, so I was more than happy with the speed the team demonstrated this Saturday."

At last year's scrimmage against the Aztecs and OCC, all three of the SDSU eights beat the Torero's Varsity. So the team is showing promise of even greater speed than they had in spring 2006 (when they placed 4th out of 41 at the prestigious Dad Vail Championship in Philadelphia, and narrowly missed the WIRA Team Points Trophy). "Historically, the Aztecs tend to reach their peak speed quite a bit earlier in the season than we do; so being this close to them this early is a very good sign for us," noted Coach O'Hara. "We are still doing distance training right now, similar to what we do in the fall, where most other teams have moved into their 2000-meter mode. I'm very exciting to think about moving into the next phase of our training - but we all have to be patient for a little while longer!"

The Women's Rowing Team's next race will be Saturday, February 24th, on Mission Bay as they host the USC Trojans in the two teams' second annual scrimmage. This year, the SDSU Aztecs will participate as well. Racing begins at 6AM off of Fiesta Island.