OCC rowing wins two national titles

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Orange Coast College's rowing team added to its storied tradition Sunday, as the Pirates won two national titles at the American Collegiate Rowing Assn. championships on Lake Lanier.

OCC captured the novice four and novice eight championships at the two-day regatta held outside of Atlanta for non-NCAA teams. Orange Coast was the only community college entered in the event.

Rowing on the eight-lane course that was the site of the 1996 Olympic Games, the Pirate novice eight edged a strong Virginia crew by .09, or about two seats, in 5 minutes, 52.3 seconds. Notre Dame took the bronze medal. OCC's neighbor on the waters of Newport Beach, UC Irvine, placed sixth with a time of 6:00.1.

The Pirate novice eight was made up of coxswain Parisa Ali, stroke Ben Webster, Joe Morris, Ty Beaudette, Austin Gentry, Kaleb Pritchett, Mike Coetzee, Cian Dowling and bow Dylan Jacob. Coetzee, who rowed in the No. 3 seat, will be transferring to Columbia University next fall.

OCC's novice four won its race by open water, pulling away from second-place Vermont to win by four seconds in 6:37.8. The crew crossed the finish line in a shell it had renamed for the occasion after novice coach Pat Gleason. Michigan took home the bronze medal. USC finished sixth.

The lineup in the OCC novice four consisted of coxswain David Melo, stroke Nic Stevens, Mason Gecsey, Dave Hammond and bow Keaton Kay.


American Collegiate Rowing Assn. championships


Novice 8

Orange Coast 5:52.3; Virginia 5:53.2; Notre Dame 5:57.7; Michigan 5:59.4; North Carolina 5:59.7; UC Irvine 6:00.1; Grand Valley 6:01.7; Boston College 6:03.7.

Novice 4

Orange Coast 6:37.8; Vermont 6:41.7; Michigan 6:45.2; George Mason 6:48.1; Virginia 6:52.2; Southern Cal 6:55.7; Notre Dame 6:59.5; North Carolina 7:04.4.

— From staff reports

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