OCC crew claims three rowing titles

GOLD RIVER — The Orange Coast College men's crew team won three titles at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Assn. Championships on Lake Natoma last weekend.

The Pirates claimed the varsity eight, novice eight and novice four categories. They also won the bronze in the second novice eight.

OCC, which competed against four-year schools from Washington, Oregon and California, saw 32 of its 41 rowers at the regatta earn medals.

OCC's varsity eight came from behind in the final moments of its race to win the club varsity grand finale. The Pirates finished in 6:02.6, ahead of UC Santa Barbara. UC Irvine placed third.

The Pirates' championship varsity eight is comprised of sophomore rowers Jon Dobson, Austin Grove, Max Bea, Scott Moso, Nick Kline, Christian Taylor, Garrett Pickard, and Rory Kew, and freshman coxswain Kimmie McCune.

OCC's novice eight won its event for the 11th in the last 12 years, finishing in 6:04.1.

The novice category consists of only first-year rowers, and OCC's novices are former water polo, basketball and football players, and swimmers. They included Dylan Jacob, Cian Dowling, Mike Coetzee, Kaleb Pritchard, Austin Gentry, Ty Beaudette, Joe Morris, Ben Webster and coxswain Parisa Ali.

OCC's novice four was manned by Keaton Kay, Dave Hammond, Mason Gecsey, Nic Stevens, and steered by David Melo.

OCC has qualified to compete in the American Collegiate Rowing Assn. National Championships May 26-27 at Lake Lanier in Georgia. OCC plans to raise funds to send its teams to the national event, which is held at the site of the rowing competitions that took place during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

— From staff reports

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