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Rowing Participates in Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test

The San Diego State rowing team participated in the Marine Corps combat fitness test on Tuesday.
The San Diego State rowing team participated in the Marine Corps combat fitness test on Tuesday.

Jan. 22, 2014

SAN DIEGO -

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The San Diego State rowing team participated in a series of activities led by local Marine Corps personnel on Tuesday on the campus of SDSU. Capt. Pete Estridge, the officer selection officer for the San Diego area, coordinated the event. Capt. Estridge was joined by fellow Marine Corps officers and enlisted personnel who guided the Aztecs through different events. The afternoon's occasion served as SDSU's final team workout of the preseason leading up to the start of classes on Wednesday.

All members of the rowing team, including rowers and coxswains, participated in the Marine Corps combat fitness test. The test is designed to challenge a Marine's physical and mental readiness for combat conditions. The first element was an 880-yard timed run followed by two minutes of 30-pound overhead ammunition can lifts. The final challenge simulated movement under fire, which included a sprint from a push-up position, low crawl, high crawl, buddy drag, fireman carry, grenade toss and ammunition can carry. Four Aztecs scored the maximum of 100 points on each of the three test elements. Senior Hillary Lupo was declared the overall champion based on her perfect score and an impressive 93 ammunition can lifts.

The SDSU rowers also went through a leadership reaction course facilitated by the Marine Corps representatives. In small groups the rowers had their leadership and teamwork skills put to the test as they came together to tackle challenging and puzzling situations.

"Rowing is often called the ultimate team sport," said head coach Bill Zack, a retired Coast Guard lieutenant commander. "So being forced to work together and cooperate in order to achieve a team goal in the course should carry over to practice and race situations."

In addition, Capt. Estridge and his colleagues led the team in a discussion of leadership principles and skills in order to tie together all that the Aztecs had experienced on Tuesday.

"One of the many great things about being an Aztec is having the opportunity to live in a city that truly appreciates members of the armed services," Zack added. "We want to express our gratitude to the Marine Corps personnel who devoted their afternoon to challenging the rowing team's physical fitness and to helping the student-athletes bond as a team and explore their leadership skills. We are honored to have men and women who serve their country, including under combat conditions in Afghanistan, give the team some insight into what it takes to be a Marine and to be a true leader. Their professionalism and dedication to duty are something that the team can be inspired by and try to emulate."

San Diego State will return to the water and begin the 2014 dual-race schedule on March 8 when the Aztecs will travel north to face UCLA.