“Honestly, we’re not quite at that level,” said the Tritons coach, who is now entering his sixth year at UCSD. “But last year, we were ranked nationally in the top 18. That’s something you don’t do overnight.”
Johnson said he believes that year by year there are signs of getting a little closer to join UCLA, USC, Oregon, Stanford and Oregon State.
“Cal [Berkeley] and Washington are the cream of the crop and get a lot of kids from overseas,” said Johnson.
He said he has prepared his team well enough to compete in the last two Copley Cups of the San Diego Crew Classic, and that the team will be fighting for a berth in the classic’s finals on April 1 off Crown Point.
UCSD scored convincing victories in the city championships and the Opening Day Regatta at Newport Beach the last couple of weeks.
The varsity eight boat defeated second-place USD by a full nine seconds on Feb. 24 and outclassed UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Long Beach State and San Diego State at Newport Beach on March 3.
Johnson said the team is recruiting throughout the country and has 20 freshmen. In addition, they have received transfers from Drexel and Loyola Marymount and a couple from junior colleges.
For more information, visit www.crewclassic.org.