California State University, Long Beach

LBS Rowing Demonstrates Determination at NICRC

Sunday, 9. November 2014

Photo provided by Sydney Abad

LBS Rowing varsity women finished third out of eight in their heat, improving by 50 seconds since last year.


By Ariana Gastelum

Publicity Manager

Varsity Rower

Long Beach State Rowing’s effort to become increasingly competitive against opposing teams was shown at the first Naples Island Collegiate Rowing Challenge (NICRC) at Marine Stadium in Long Beach, Calif. on Nov. 1 and 2.

Saturday races were made up of a series 850-meter sprints for the alumni and novices. They began at the boathouse and finished at the end of Marine Stadium.

Winners of these sprints were not recorded. Although LBS Rowing’s novices have been rowing for a couple months now, they were competing against other teams that had been rowing for either just as long or for only a few weeks. Some of the other schools raced with only six rowers at a time, and others rowed with squared blades.

Men’s rowing teams from Arizona State University (ASU), Chapman University, Loyola Marymount University (LMU), Orange Coast College (OCC), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of Southern California (USC) competed in the novice races against Long Beach.

“The sprints were fun, and I really feel like it was easier to push myself because you are right next to your competition, and you can tell when you are losing,” men’s novice rower Wendel Kuhn said. “What I believe is really important is having that first race down because I know what to expect and know how our entire boat performs under that pressure.”

Teams from ASU, Chapman University, LMU, OCC and University of California Irvine (UCI) raced in the women’s sprints.

On Sunday, varsity and novice teams raced a 4,000-meter course around Naples Island.

“NICRC felt like home turf, and especially with our local rivals, we tried our best to see where we place among them,” varsity rower Sydney Abad said.

The women’s team raced one varsity eight and two varsity fours. The varsity eight finished third out of eight behind University of California Santa Barbara’s (UCSB) A-boat and OCC’s A-boat with a time of 16 minutes and 50.28 seconds.

Last year, varsity finished fifth, 1 minute and 22 seconds behind UCSB, who finished last year as well with a similar time, according to women’s head coach Ian Simpson. Since then, the women’s varsity team has improved by 50 seconds.

“The varsity performance would have been good enough for second place in last year’s race,” Simpson said. “However, Orange Coast College also had a very good performance, improving by 40 seconds over last year, good enough to keep them 15 seconds ahead of varsity…However, I have no doubt that our varsity will close the gap and eventually pass OCC in the spring.”

The men’s team competed one varsity eight and two novice eights. Varsity finished fifth out of eight with a time of 14 minutes and 39.74 seconds, finishing 10 seconds before UCLA’s B-boat and also before USC’s B-boat and ASU.

“Head of the American line up was a little bit different and more advance than the Naples Island line up,” men’s head coach Rob Edwards said. “But the Naples Island line up did well for themselves…They’re just going to get better and better throughout the season.”

This year’s varsity team had enough for two competitive eights, the team lost four varsity members just after Head of the American.

“I only had one boat last year, and now I only have one boat and a half, but I started with two,” Edwards said. “It’s nice to have the ability to change up people if I have to…It builds a little bit more competition and a little bit more competitive edge.”

The varsity team also practices in the evening on their own three times a week, and it has shown in practice, according to Edwards.

“They are getting much better with their ratio, and they’re getting much better with their overall strength,” he said. “This is one of the strongest crews I’ve ever had physically.”

For official results, visit


LBS Rowing Starts Off Strong at Head of the American

Sunday, 2. November 2014

Photo provided by Stefano Balbusso

The varsity eight B-boat included (left to right) Evan Mauno, Evan Wright, Orlando Alfaro, Andrew Nicastro, Stefano Balbusso, Mark Saavedra, Matthew Maliglig and coxswain Sarah Hui.


By Ariana Gastelum

Publicity Manager

Varsity Rower

Long Beach State Rowing finished their first regatta of the season at Head of the American (HoA) in Sacramento, Calif. on October 25. The novices, comprised of about 40 members, officially raced 5,000 meters for the first time ever, battling wind and rain throughout.

“With rowing, there’s a lot of responsibility put on the rowers,” women’s novice coach Megan Smith said. “Like, I can’t get out there to the starting line or make sure they’re doing the right warm-up. So, I put a lot of trust on them when they shove off the beach, and I just wave goodbye. I think they did a really good job. The overall goal of having a fun time and getting their feet wet was accomplished.”

This is Smith’s first year of coaching, though training with the development squad for the national team gave her the experience she needed to teach the novice rowers.

“I helped them adjust to national training, and I had to learn how to overcome my own struggles,” she said. “When you’re doing a lot of self-coaching, you have to examine ways to break down the stroke – break down the training – in order to explain it to yourself…But I have also learned a lot in the two months I’ve been doing it.”

Two women’s novice boats competed at HoA. The novice-A boat finished fourth out of 13 behind Stanford University, San Diego State University (SDSU) and Sacramento State University with a time of 21 minutes and 13 seconds, only four seconds slower than Sacramento.

The novice B-boat finished seventh with a time of 22 minutes and 55 seconds. They were two seconds ahead of Sacramento’s B-boat and over one minute ahead of University of Saint Mary’s B-boat.

Women’s head coach Ian Simpson describes Smith to be helpful and proactive towards the novices. When asked how he feels working with her, he answered, “It is terrible. She keeps on making suggestions that improves the training experience for the entire team, and she insists on helping the students become better athletes through attention to how they pace themselves, how they train and how they row.”

Men’s novice coach Jonathan Flietstra is now coaching for his second year, and he says he now feels more comfortable as a coach having gone through both seasons the year before.

“Just like my novice rowers, I was truly a ‘novice’ coach last year,” he said. “But just like my rowers from last year came back and are now on varsity, I also feel as if that novice year of coaching is behind me. That is not to say I’m done learning, but there are just some unique things about your novice year, both rowing and coaching.”

The men’s novice eight A-boat tied for sixth place with University of California Berkeley Lightweight Crew with a time of 19 minutes and 49 seconds. They were 16 seconds ahead of Humboldt State, who finished after.

Men’s novice eight B-boat ended in twelfth place out of 14, beating both UC Davis novice A and B boats and only seven seconds behind Sacramento’s novice A-boat.

“I told my guys to go out there and have a set boat over everything else,” Flietstra said. (A set boat is when blades on both starboard and port side are off the water during the recovery, and the boat is balanced.) “For the most part, the boats finished right about where I expected them to finish.”

Since last year, the women’s varsity team has improved significantly. They were the second fastest among the other club teams, finishing two seconds behind University of California Davis and 10 seconds behind Saint Mary’s.

The varsity eight finished in twentieth out of 25 with a time of 20 minutes and 11 seconds. Since HoA 2013, they’ve improved by 65 seconds.

“It is a very different team to last year,” Simpson said. “The returning varsity group of experienced rowers is larger and their collective knowledge and desire is more focused…The a greater focus on goals has the team healthier and in better condition than last year, which means we can train smarter.”

The women’s open four, which consisted of two novice rowers: Emily Seierson and Diana Mejia, two varsity rowers: Jayne Goodwin and Reid Atkins, and novice coxswain Silbia Ochoa, finished as the second-fastest club-boat with a time of 24 minutes and 8 seconds, only behind Chico State, and ahead of Berkeley’s Lightweight Crew, Maritime Rowing Club, Mills College A and B boats and Sonoma State Univeristy.

“There is a great vibe about the team this year,” Simpson added. “The entire group is way ahead of where it was at this time last year. I look forward to continuing the improvement and seeing where it takes us in the rapidly-approaching spring-racing season.”

For official results, visit

Long Beach State Rowing Teams Row For Dough

Monday, 13. October 2014


Photo by Stefano Balbusso

Varsity eight at Head of the American in Sacramento, Calif. last October


The Long Beach State Men’s and Women’s rowing teams (LBS Rowing) will undertake a twelve-hour “ergathon” in front of Legends Sports Bar, 5236 East Second St., on Saturday, October 18. The objective of the ergathon, which will run from 9a.m. to 9p.m., is to raise funds to assist the teams with the costs of traveling to Sacramento to compete in the season-opening Head of The American River at the end of October.

The ergathon is the LBS Rowing’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The men’s and women’s teams will take turns rowing on indoor-rowing machines, or ergometers. For every dollar donated, a rower will demonstrate his or her prowess by pulling ten powerful strokes. Every donor who provides $10 or more will receive a team tank top.

“This year we hope to beat last year’s $1,000 that was raised after rowing over 100,000 meters throughout the day,” Women’s head coach Ian Simpson said.

With over one hundred members, LBS Rowing is the largest club sport at LBSU. The team competes against NCAA Division 1 programs and other club teams at regattas in California including the San Diego Crew Classic. LBS Rowing is self-funded, relying on member dues, the Associated Students Incorporated, grants from the LBSU Foundation and other donors such as the Beach Crew Alumni Association.