BOSTON, Mass. - On Sunday, five Toreros raced top crews from across the country at the Head of the Charles regatta. The men competed in the Collegiate Men's Four event and placed sixth out of 40.
Connor Olson, Sam Stephens, Travis Heft, Lucas Walbeck and coxswain Will Graf were the youngest crew on the water Sunday afterfnoon. Almost 400,000 spectators were expected to watch along the Charles River that runs through Boston. The Charles is known for it's tough course filled with turns, obstacles and a plethora of other racers.
"I thought Will steered a exceptional course. He hung the blades out over the buoys and shaved every possible second he could off the course," said sophomore stroke Olson of coxswain Graf.
The men beat top crews like Washington, Michigan, Middlebury, local Boston College and 35 others. They finished with a time of 16:31, just about two seconds behind both the fourth and fifth place finishers.
"I couldn't be prouder of the effort these guys put in," said senior Graf of his crew. "While a medal would have been nice, the focus is now on the eight and making that boat go as fast as possible. This season is just starting and it's not time to think about legacies yet, we're building boat speed."
Their sixth place finish has secured the Toreros spot for next year's race.
"This was an extremely close and hotly contested race, only six seconds separated second and seventh places," explained Assistant Coach David Janiak. "It's almost a curse to have a bow number at the front of the pack, the guys were basically time trailing against themselves."
Next week, a much larger team of Toreros will head to Sacramento to race in the Head of the American where they will face local crews and rivals, Gonzaga, Santa Clara and California.
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