Ranked among the league’s top 10, the UC Irvine Women’s Crew team, with a time of 6:52, took the Collins Cup from the Orange Coast College Pirates for the fourth straight year on April 17 at Newport Beach.
The win is the Anteaters’ 17th out of the 11 years of the Collins Cup.
‘I’m really proud of us for winning it,’ said senior bowman Lorna Leopold.
‘This is a big win for the program,’ said Head coach Carrie Chamberlain-Parsons. ‘Relaxation was the main goal for the day and they were able to do that very well. The final element they really felt today.’
Junior seventh-seat Rachel Sung agreed that team members were in sync with each other.
‘We were working mostly on rhythm and we had a steady rhythm,’ Sung said. ‘We were tweaking the rhythm a little bit from what we normally do.’
The Anteaters strived to hold their rhythm and in the process, lowered their stroke rate. The women were still mixing up the lineup to determine their most efficient boat.
According to Sung, the Anteaters must now make the minute mental changes that make all the difference.
‘I think it’s important for every rower to be able to row every seat,’ Leopold said.
Entering Saturday’s race, Irvine felt confident in their chances of winning. They had raced and beaten the Pirates before.
UCI’s varsity time of 6:52 was not a track record but according to Chamberlain-Parsons, was within five seconds of the mark.
Although the Collins Cup race is a varsity race, both of Irvine’s novice teams and their junior varsity team raced as well.
The Anteaters’ current ranking is enough to send them to the conference finals in Sacramento where the top 21 schools, out of the league’s 26, will compete for the title.
If all goes to plan, Chamberlain-Parsons expects the team to place sixth or seventh.
‘I want them to take what they did today and go toe-to-toe with teams that are the same speed as them,’ Chamberlain-Parsons said.
‘I’m really excited. We have a lot of potential to be in the finals,’ Sung said.