USC’s women’s elite varsity-eight team captured the Jessop-Whittier Cup as the event’s top collegiate team, the third straight year the Trojans have done so. Rounding out a near-perfect performance, the Trojans also won the junior varsity eights and fours.
In elite men’s varsity eights competition, Cal Berkeley stroked to its 12th Copley Cup championship in the event’s 40-year history.
The women’s varsity competition was highly anticipated, as the field included several of the nation’s top-ranked teams. Defending national champion Virginia is ranked No. 1, Cal Berkeley No. 2 and Washington No. 5.
The Trojans defeated the field with a 2.4-second edge over Cal Berkeley.
Seven of the eight members of the USC varsity were born in former Eastern Bloc nations. Melanie Grindle, a former Del Mar resident and lifeguard, is the only U.S. rower of the group that otherwise includes women from Latvia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Estonia and Hungary.
On the men’s side, Berkeley’s Golden Bears took the Copley Cup for the fourth time in five years with a commanding 11.1-second margin over Stanford. Others in the grand final were the University of Pennsylvania, British Columbia, Oregon State and Gonzaga.
The Golden Bears also took home the Sharp Cabrillo Cup (second varsity eights) and the Derek Guelker Memorial Cup (for novice eights).
Teams from several local universities participated, including University of California San Diego, San Diego State University and University of San Diego. Each has success at various levels of competition and experience.
A total of 4,400 athletes competed in more than 100 races ranged in age from 14 to 84 years. More than 25,000 spectators lined the shores of Mission Bay.
Races began at the SeaWorld tower, went under the Ingraham Street bridge and continued north to the finish line at Crown Point Shores.