GAINESVILLE, GA -- The Orange Coast College men's crew made the cross-country trek to Georgia worthwhile as the Pirates picked up two national titles at the 2019 American Collegiate Rowing Association (ACRA) National Championships this past weekend.
The Pirates sent five boats to Georgia and took on the best four-year programs in the nation. Out of those five boats, four qualified for the Grand Final races and two of those boats -- the Novice 8 and Second Novice 8 -- were crowned national champions after their dominating performances.
After reaching the Grand Finals, the OCC Novice 8 jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, pulling away from the other boats and won the national title with a open-water winning time of 6 minutes, 14.99 seconds. The University of Virginia was a distant second with a time of 6:19.39, followed by the University of Michigan (6:20.50), Notre Dame (6:26.19) and UC Santa Barbara (6:28.45).
It was a similar story for the Second Novice 8 boat as the Pirates came out strong and separated themselves from the herd, winning with another open-water, championship time of 6:21.68. Michigan finished second with a time of 6:25.05, followed by Virginia (6:28.14), UCSB (6:28.40) and UCLA (6:51.52).
For the Novice 4 boat, those first-year Pirates also earned a spot in the Grand Finals, where they finished eighth in the nation with a time of 7:47.78.
In addition to those first-year rowers, OCC's top four freshman competed with Varsity 8 boat and helped the Pirates earn a sixth-place time in the Petite Final with a time of 6:27.55 in one of the deepest and most level fields in the history of the competition.
Last but not least, OCC's Second Varsity 8 boat battled through prelims and earned a spot in the Grand Finals, where they finished eighth in the country with a time of 6:31.51.
"With our Novice 4 also making the Grand Final, and our top 4 freshman competing in the Varsity 8 - Coast Crew undoubtedly has the most dominant freshman class in the country," OCC head coach Cam Brown said. "Congratulations to all oarsmen and coxswains for another very successful season for Coast Crew. Thank you to all of our supporters and alumni."