UCI Men's Rowing - ACRA Championships Recap
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UCI Men's Varsity 4+
Wins ACRA Gold

As the 2016 rowing season has drawn to a close, the Friends of UCI Rowing, Coach AJ Brooks and the Men's Crew thank all of our alumni for their support!

This year we were able to take four boats back east to the ACRA National Championship in Georgia. After WIRA the boys broke into smaller boats and were able to compete within themselves at a very high level. Not only did this invigorate the team but you could see a direct change in the culture. Everyone who was going east was dedicated to a task and that was to bring home some hardware. 

The Men's Varsity 4+ won their heat with the fastest time of the day at 6:38.8, moving directly into the A/B Semifinal where again they won & set the fastest time of 6:40.3. The team to beat was Georgia Tech who won the Dad Vail Regatta and was deemed the kings of the east. The boys were up for the challenge, as they took down the Yellow Jackets to win the National Championship in a blazing time of 6:37.8.

The Men's Novice 4+ won their heat with a time of 6:54.3 (2nd fastest time of the day) and moved directly into the A Final. The novices ultimately claimed 4th in the A Final after battling for 2nd position most of the race. 

The Men's Pair, composed of two 4-year oarsman, were able to claim 12th in Nationals after battling a tough weekend of racing.

The Men's Double was a surprise, in that both of the oarsman were taught to scull only three weeks prior to the regatta. The double just missed a direct qualification to the A Final directly from the heats by 2 seconds. They were forced into the Reps where their backs were against the wall. They needed to win the Rep to go into the A Final and they did just that. Once in the A Final they gave it their all and placed 3rd, bringing home a Bronze Medal from the National Championship.

Gold Medal, National Champions

Alyssa Ford 
(Cox- Sophomore 1st year oarsman) 
Anthony Lewis
(Senior 2nd year oarsman) 
Michael Galanif

(2nd year Graduate Student 2nd year oarsman)
Khalid Eessallad
(Sophomore 2nd year oarsman)
Cole McGuire
(Junior 3rd year oarsman) 
4th Place

Melina Tran
(Cox- Junior 1st year oarsman)
Dean Defuira
(Junior 1st year oarsman) 
Connor Allen 
(Sophomore 1st year oarsman) 
Erik Werner 

(1st year graduate student 1st year oarsman) 
James Wichenaeuser 

(Senior 1st year oarsman) 
12th Place

Matt Preszler 
(Senior 4th year oarsman) 
Justin Hempsey 

(Senior 4th year oarsman)
Bronze Medal, 3rd Place

Mathew Gill 
(Sophomore 2nd year oarsman) 
Ved Kastala 

(Junior 2nd year oarsman)

Interview with senior Anthony Lewis
after winning the National Title

Coach Brooks: How do you feel becoming a National Champion?
Lewis: Tired.
Brooks: Do you feel different than before?
Lewis: Yes, winning the national championship has not only opened my eyes to the endless possibly of striving for greatness but has helped me understand what teamwork really means. That waking up every morning and pushing through the pain, showed me, "pain is only temporary." I have learned that I do not want to go through life anymore just getting by, or being average, and that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.
Brooks: What has rowing taught you?
Lewis: Rowing is not just a sport, but a way of life. A culture of exceptional people who want nothing more than greatness, but also know that greatness does not come easy. I wrote a letter to myself last year when my team lost and never forgot the feeling of losing. I learned a valuable lesson that I will take with me for the rest of my life and that is “to always give it your all because you might not be able to have the same opportunity every again."
Brooks: What are your plans after rowing?
Lewis: After rowing? I plan on spending the summer rowing, I feel as this is just the beginning. I would like to continue rowing in some way shape or form. I would hope to follow the footsteps of my cousin Kerry Walsh and bring home an Olympic Gold Medal. 
Brooks: Who would you like to thank?
Lewis: I would like to thank my mom, my teammates, my coaches, and all the alumni. Without rowing I would not be the person I am today.

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