Rowing Crew at Orange Coast College Pursues Another National Title
Orange Coast College is a large community college in the southern California city of Costa Mesa. OCC (as students and locals informally refer to the school) boasts an impressive enrollment of over 25 thousand students a semester.
A significant portion of Orange Coast graduates transfer to a range of public and private four-year universities and colleges throughout California as well as other states. Schools within the California State University and University of California systems are an especially common destination for OCC transfers.
Besides its thriving academic programs, Orange Coast College has a well-developed athletics department. Alongside the essential collegiate sports of football and baseball, the school has a particularly successful rowing crew.
With 11 national titles, Orange Coast College’s men’s crew hopes to achieve its 12th at the 2017 national-level championship for collegiate rowing teams to be held in Gainesville, Georgia in late May. Successfully going up against crews from four-year schools (often with older and more experienced students) has earned OCC rowers the nickname “Giant Killers”.
Many veterans of the team have gone on to row at universities and a few have even made it to the Olympics. Assistant coach for the men’s crew, Steve Morris, emphasizes the cooperative nature of the sport and how crucial teamwork is to winning. Learn more about Orange Coast College: http://www.orangecoastcollege.edu/academics/class_schedule/Pages/default.aspx and http://orangecoastcollege.edu/enrollment/admissions/Pages/default.aspx
Many team members also describe how rowing helps them mature mentally as well as physically. Men’s coach Cameron Brown, originally from Oklahoma City University, notices the discipline and friendships that form out of crew members’ reliance on each other’s synchronized efforts.
John Kinnear, a varsity rower, had never participated in rowing before going to Orange Coast College but is now devoted to the sport and the idea of winning through teamwork appeals to him.
Although the image of the boats gliding gracefully in Newport Harbor during the crew’s early morning practices may seem calm, the training is rigorous.
Many applicants to the men’s or women’s crews don’t make it. Competitions are equally strenuous. In the upcoming national championship’s main event, the crew must cross 2,000 meters in a few minutes. OCC’s “Giant Killers” aren’t worried.