California State University, Long Beach

Team President Determined To Take Home Medals

Saturday, 28. February 2015

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Photo by Stefano Balbusso

 

By Ariana Gastelum

Publicity Manager

Varsity Rower

Women’s team president Kelsey Davis has one thought on the upcoming season: It’s time to win.

“Every year, we’ve gone to WIRA (Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association), we’ve gotten a little bit better,” she said. “And this year, I know we have the girls and the motivation to take it, and I want it so [badly]. This is the year.”

It is more than Davis’s competitive nature that motivates her to pull at her utmost ability. Her teammates and coaches also play a large factor.

“Just knowing that I have 25 other people on my team who wake up early in the morning to work out on the ergs together and work to get stronger inspires me,” Davis said.

The women’s team begins practice at 5:30a.m every morning and finished at around 7:30a.m. They have land practice every Tuesday and Thursday, which consists of rowing on the ergs, running and strengthening in core circuits.

Davis also looks up to novice coach Megan Smith, who began rowing at University of California Berkeley and continued training with the US Women’s National Team.

“She didn’t have 10 years of experience,” Davis said. “She joined in college – a novice – just like we did. And knowing that, we could really do some great stuff.”

Davis noted that if she had to summarize her life into one word, it would be “busy”. In addition to being president and team captain, she also works at Coffee Bean and is a full-time student at Long Beach State University, majoring in psychology.

“It’s different than being just a regular college student,” she explained. “It requires more focus, more time management, more organization…I’ve been doing it this way since I was a freshman, and I don’t think I could do college any other way.”

For those who are just starting as a novice on the team, Davis advises them to get through the initial struggles that cause them to ask themselves, why should they stay?

“You get really worn down, and your body gets tired, and you get sick,” she said. “Just hang in there. You could be really good, and you can make a huge impact on the team. You just have to want it…I think people come back if they are successful the year before. If we show that we are a good, competitive team, them people will want to come back. They want to win again. They want to defend their title. And so, I think we need to work hard and take home some medals.”

Photo by Sarah Dresser

Hard Work Never Perishes for Men’s Team President

Friday, 19. September 2014

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Photo by Jill McGill

 

By Ariana Gastelum

Publicity Manager

Varsity Rower

Like several others who attend Long Beach State University (LBSU), Jacob Bledsoe entered his freshman year in 2012 wanting to try something new. Little did he know, he was going to be president of the varsity LBS Rowing Team, a silver medalist at Club Nationals in Oak Ridge, Tenn. and hoping to compete in an international competition in his future.

After a few days of joining the team out on the water, Bledsoe admitted he was already captivated by the sport.

“I think the third day I was there, we lined up to do a little 250-meter race,” he said. “The sun was rising above all the boats in the harbor, and it was really pretty. The water was completely calm. I keep hearing Ian [Simpson], the women’s coach, say that it’s almost magical. That’s kind of how I felt. In that moment, I knew I had to keep doing this.”

Bledsoe played an important role on the team last year as 5-seat in the varsity-eight and 3-seat in the varsity-four. He was also the team’s vice president.

Last summer, Bledsoe joined the Southern California Scullers Club, a high-performance rowing club that emphasizes in small-boats training, run by Simpson and Dan McGill.

“I want to be able to go to another country and compete in an international competition,” he said. “I thought training with SoCal Scullers would be a really good start…I want to keep training with them and competing with them.”

Bledsoe competed at Club Nationals in Oak Ridge, Tenn. with SoCal Scullers last July. In the intermediate quad, he took second place with a time of 6 minutes and 28.86 seconds, only .1 of a second behind first. In the intermediate single, he won the semi-final and ended fifth out of 18 in the finals with a time of 7 minutes and 52.88 seconds.

This is now Bledsoe’s third year attending LBSU as an international business major with a focus in Germany. He works as a marketing intern at Bosch Home Appliances and is the team captain and president of the LBS Rowing.

Bledsoe’s ultimate goal this year is for the varsity team to win a gold medal at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA).

“Any gold medal would do, whether it’s in a four or an eight…even a pair,” he said. “I think for the novices, I want to see the same thing. I want them to think about making the boat go faster.”

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The Beach Crew Videographies – Karen McCloskey-Keehn – 2/22/14

Saturday, 22. February 2014

BCA’s Dave Straley interviews Karen McCloskey-Keehn