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Novice Rowers Shine at Long Beach Regatta

Dec. 8, 2006

LONG BEACH, Calif. - USD Women's Rowing dominated the field for the second year running this past weekend in Long Beach at the 39th Annual Bill Lockyer Christmas Regatta. A different kind of event, the race distance for this regatta was 850 meters, as opposed to the 6000-meter races the team had been training for all Fall. "This is a great event that we like to do to wrap-up our Fall season because it gives the athletes a chance to do something entirely different, to get a taste of sprint racing, and to just go out there and have fun!" commented Head Coach, Joan O'Hara. "Especially for our walk-on Novice squad who have no experience in anything but head racing, this event is a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of what the Spring is all about."

Because the races are so short, each athlete competed in multiple events. "We have been doing more and more training in the small boats over the last two years, particularly the pairs, so most of the team raced in pairs and fours in addition to the Women's Eight." This year the Toreros fielded a Single as well, the team's first sculling entry. Jovana Djukic, racing the Women's Single, won the event with open water and a comfortable 20 second lead. The Torero Pairs also fared well, taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in the Open event, as well as 1st place in the Lightweight race.

The Varsity squad also took 1st place in the Women's Open Four, beating Cal State Long Beach, among others. The Toreros put a JV line-up in the Women's Open Eight, and raced to a second-place finish, just behind the Long Beach Varsity Eight.

But perhaps the highlight of the day was the way the Torero Novice squad dominated their field. Racing against multiple boats from Cal State Long Beach and Cal Maritime among others, the USD Novices took 1st and 2nd places with a commanding lead. "LBCR was a complete success for the Torero Novices," commented novice Coach, Amelia White. "The entire squad got their first experience with sprint racing, and walked away with 1st and 2nd place finishes! The goal was to use what they have learned all fall and simply go for it, and they certainly achieved that. I am very proud of these student-athletes for their performances on the water, but also their great attitudes."

At the end of the day, the Torero Women brought home the Gold in four events, the Silver in three, and the Bronze in two.

The Toreros resume team training in January when they return for Winter Camp. Their first official race of the season will be a scrimmage against the USC Trojans on February 24th at home.