Ten days before the 2017 American Collegiate Rowing Association National Championship to be held at Lake Lanier in Gainesville, GA, Steve Morris, assistant coach of Orange Coast College Men’s Crew, oversees the early morning workout in Newport Harbor. The crew will row 2,000 meters in close to six minutes. In their 60 year history, the school has won 11 national titles, including 2016. The aptly nicknamed “Giant Killers” are going up against crews from four year universities, expecting their 12th win, May 27th and 28th.
Morris, and Coach Cameron Brown, speak of the dichotomy of rowing. From afar, the picture of eight men pulling a boat through the water in unison appears serene. Up close and personal, there is yelling, muscle strain, a determination to remain in sync. There is beauty and art to this sport according to Steve Morris. Per Brown, “It’s good for the soul.”
The satisfaction of winning a race through teamwork, acquiring physical and mental skills to overcome obstacles, ability to exceed expectations academically, athletically and professionally, these are the thoughts of those involved with OCC’s men’s crew from Daniel Amado, 22, and John Kinnear, 19, to Craig Amerkhanian, Men’s Head Coach at Stanford University.
Rowing is not easy. Usually there are about 80 students who sign up for men’s crew. By season’s end, that amount has been cut in half. This amateur sport is not for everyone, yet ten students have competed in world championships and the Olympics.
Orange Coast College is a large community college with an excess of 25,000 students enrolled per semester. Founded in 1947 in Costa Mesa, classes began in 1948. OCC now offers more than 135 academic and career programs. One of these is their public nautical program, largest and most acclaimed in the nation.
Fully accredited, OCC boasts more students transferring to four year colleges in, and out, of California, than any other Orange County community college. With year round classes, OCC offers certificates in diverse career technical education or two year programs culminating in either Associate in Arts or Science degrees.
To learn more, visit http://www.orangecoastcollege.edu/.