California State University, Long Beach

New Men’s Head Coach: Anthony Chacon

Sunday, 6. September 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 5.14.04 PM

Photo by Matthew Maliglig

By Ariana Gastelum

Publicity Manager

Women’s Team President

With 11 years of experience in NCAA collegiate, club collegiate and Masters competitive programs, Anthony Chacon now trains the Long Beach State Rowing men’s team as its new head coach.

Chacon became involved in rowing when he was a student at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“I had to take a PE credit in college, so I took Weightlifting-101 or whatever they called it,” he said. “They paired me up with another small guy, and he was actually a rower…He took me to rowing practice one day, and I started doing it with the original intention to be a rower.”

Chacon ended up coxing the men’s novice team. Before the end of his novice year, he began coaching for intramural rowing.

Since 2003, Chacon has coached or assisted coaching for North Park University, Chicago Rowing Union, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame and Grand Valley State University.

In 2007, Chacon was head coach for Lincoln Park Boat Club in Chicago, who won a medal at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston within two years of him being there.

“By the end of my four years with the team, they had gone from a small team of about eight returning athletes to 32 total rowers,” he noted in a personal biography. “The team medaled in every race they had entries in.”


Men’s 8+ had just finished rowing 12,000 meters as the sun rose.

Chacon sent in his application to Long Beach because he is studying for his Masters in Kinesiology at Fresno Pacific University, and he wanted to coach while he was in the Orange County and Los Angeles area.

“My dad went here in the 60s, and it’s close to a lot of family,” he said. “It’s just beautiful here. I went to the Marina, and I was like, this is amazing. I’ve been coaching on an open sewer, and here, it’s like Baywatch.”

When Chacon was first introduced to the varsity team, he had the returning athletes fill out a questionnaire to learn about their overall attitude of last year’s performance and this year’s outlook.

“The replies that came in were nearly all positive in nature,” he noted. “There is some residual disappointment about their performances at regattas from last season, but they remain hopeful about the upcoming year.”

After working with the team for the first week, Chacon liked that everyone appeared “excited to be part of this new direction.”

Chacon has several tools and strategies for the team that he plans to utilize over the year such as a Yearly Planning Instrument (YPI), Macrocycles and services from LBSU’s Sports Training and Research program (STAR).

YPI is about planning workouts and visualizing the quantity, volume and intensity of the workouts throughout the season. Macrocycles are also training plans that are broken down into 11 one-month long parts.

STAR is made up of student-interns with majors in different areas of kinesiology including sports medicine, nutrition, sports psychology and biomechanics. They can design personalized weight training workouts for every athlete, educate them on healthy eating habits and get them mentally prepared for races.

Chacon believes the team is very lucky and blessed to have a boathouse, a large fleet of well-kept boats, professional staff and support from the school and alumni.

“They have all the tools to be successful and no excuse to not get results,” he noted. “I wont let them forget that! There is no reason CSULB cannot be as two other well supported club teams that are competitive that I am familiar with (Grand Valley State University and University of Michigan). In case you don’ t know, those are the teams we are [going to] beat someday.”


Eric Oates, Dylan Widjaja, Scott Morris, Jacob Bledsoe, Jacob Muñoz, Mark Saavedra, Chris Ehling and Gabriel Jordan make multiple trips around Naples Island during practice.

Photos by Anthony Chacon

To Row or to Study: Tilley Defines Student-Athlete

Sunday, 12. April 2015


Photos by Mark Bledsoe


By Ariana Gastelum

Publicity Manager

Varsity Rower

Twenty hours of studying per week, plus approximately 2-3 hours of rowing practice everyday, plus a job as a Housing and Residential Life multimedia technician equals one strong-minded individual. Varsity rower Patrick Tilley handles all of these tasks in addition to being the men’s team’s vice president.

This is Tilley’s third year at Long Beach State University (LBSU). He plans to graduate at the end of spring with a Bachelor’s Degree in general biology.

Tilley has been a student-athlete for almost a decade. Before crew, he ran cross-country and track and field for seven years. He ran for his high school team in San Diego and Mesa College.

Though he originally planned to run track and field at LBSU, Tilley decided to try out for the rowing team in the fall of 2012.

“After being an athlete for so long, I feel like I’ll always be doing something competitive,” he said. “I always see myself being able to push myself farther – not only as an athlete, but as a person as well.”

In comparison to cross country and track and field, Tilley liked the competitiveness of both sports, but he was also attracted to the sense of support in rowing.

“The thing with cross country and track and rowing is that cross country and track are individual sports, and so it’s more along the line where you can’t drag your teammates along,” he said. “But with rowing, you still need everyone on the same page, or else you’re not going to win. So, that’s what we had, which was really nice.”

When Tilley first joined the team, there were only 16 other men. In the years after, he worked his way up to treasurer and vice president.

“Obviously a competitive rowing team needs numbers to do really well,” he said. “Myself and [Jacob] Bledsoe and a couple others who joined my novice year, we were all novices together, and we take it upon ourselves to build the team and make it better for everybody. I want everyone to experience what I do. I want that level of competition and that level of success.”

With school, crew and work as a multimedia technician, self-control and time-management skills are essential. According to Tilley, school comes first, then work and then crew. However, it doesn’t always work out that way.

Self-control is also one of the most important aspects of rowing in Tilley’s opinion.

“You need to row well in order to move in the boat,” he explained. “In order to row well, you need to have control in your drive and your recovery. Control is body control, so you need to have good core strength. Sit up, maintain your body strength or else you’ll lose power on your drive.”

Tilley has had several highlights throughout his rowing career, but one that particularly stands out was when he finished fourth in the varsity four at grand finals of the 2014 Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championship Regatta. One final goal for his last regatta would be to finally medal at WIRA.

“I would really love to medal in any boat, really,” he said. “I’ll row whatever boat I get put in. I might complain here and there, but I think at the end of the day, I’ll just be happy with being put in a competitive boat.”


Men’s varsity four of 2014 with coxswain Kaitlyn Gold (not pictured), Patrick Tilley, Grey Mouser, Jacob Bledsoe and Jake Skoll.

Team President Determined To Take Home Medals

Saturday, 28. February 2015


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, then 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