California State University, Long Beach

Miscalculations at Chapman Regatta Cause Controversy

Wednesday, 15. April 2015

The varsity eight race at the Chapman Regatta was so close, Long Beach State University, University of California Santa Barbara and Orange Coast College have mixed thoughts about the end result.

The varsity eight race at the Chapman Regatta was so close, Long Beach State University, University of California Santa Barbara and Orange Coast College have mixed thoughts about the end result.

Photo by Stefano Balbusso


By Ariana Gastelum

Publicity Manager

Varsity Rower

Everyone can agree that the women’s varsity eight race at the Chapman Regatta on April 12 was a brutal battle all the way down the 2,000-meter course, but teams differ in opinions when it comes down to the end result.

According to, University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) finished first with a time of 6 minutes and 54 seconds. Orange Coast College (OCC) ended second at 6 minutes and 56.3 seconds followed by Long Beach State University (LBSU) .16 seconds later.

However, every athlete in the LBSU boat believes they finished second, before OCC and only about half a seat away from UCSB. Immediately after the results were posted, conflict arose.

According to coxswain Sarah Dresser, her seat was aligned with OCC’s 2-seat at the 250-meter mark. Though they eventually gained more seats, they never officially caught up with LBSU.

Before the last approximate 10 strokes of the race, Dresser remembers her seat aligned with UCSB’s coxswain.

“We weren’t in front of them, but we got even with them,” she said “In the end, they pulled ahead, and they crossed the finish line before us.”

UCSB raced in lane two with OCC on port side and LBSU on starboard side. A private message from UCSB’s Rowing Facebook page noted their varsity coxswain’s perspective.

“She says that [LBSU] took second over OCC and that our head coach, Mike Homes, has been in contact with other coaches about this matter as well,” it explained.

Without video footage of the race’s finish, we may never know what really happened in that race at the Chapman Regatta. However, LBSU’s women are utilizing these mixed results as fuel to correct it all at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association next weekend.


UPDATE 4-16-15 at 3:00pm

UCSB’s varsity coxswain noted to her coach:

“I was sitting on the Long Beach 6-seat at the finish. They beat OCC.  We were up on OCC by four to five seats the whole race, but I looked at [LBSU] at the finish because OCC was at least four seats behind us.”

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.

Long Beach Places Third at Grand Finals in Two Events at Crew Classic

Saturday, 4. April 2015


Varsity 8 (left to right): Kelsey Davis, Penelope Gallardo, Maria Guardiola, Sam McFeely, Sarah Dresser, Alexandra Savage, Rikki Oden, Ariana Gastelum and Cecilia Guerrero

By Ariana Gastelum

Publicity Manager

Varsity Rower

By milliseconds, the Long Beach State varsity and novice women both came in third place in the grand finals at San Diego Crew Classic on March 29.

The varsity eight finished the 2,000-meter race after University of California Santa Barbara’s (UCSB) A-boat and Orange Coast College (OCC) with a time of 7 minutes and 22.61 seconds, about .6 seconds before Lewis and Clark College and 3 seconds before University of California Davis’ (UCD) A-boat. UCSB’s B-boat, University of California Irvine’s (UCI) A-boat and Mills College’s A-boat followed.

In fact, the competition was so close that just after the women crossed the finish line, varsity rower Cecilia Guerrero, bow seat, had to announce to the rest of the boat that they had finished before Lewis and Clark College.

During the pre-finals on Saturday, the varsity team finished second in 7 minutes and 19 seconds, 10 seconds after UCSB’s A-boat and 4 seconds before Lewis and Clark College’s A-boat.

“Although the final was a far tougher race, the varsity maintained their composure and responded admirably when challenged by Lewis and Clark in the final run-in to the line,” varsity coach Ian Simpson said. “Despite never really having been in this position in a major final before, this crew was determined to repeat the feeling they had of doing well that they had the previous day and would not let Lewis and Clark, or any crew, get past them.”


The women’s novice eight finished third in the grand finals with a time of 7 minutes and 48.9 seconds. Orange Coast College’s B-boat and University of California Berkeley Lightweight’s A-boat finished less than a second after.

Since there was no pre-finals competition for the novice women’s eight, they only raced on Sunday. They finished after OCC’s A-boat and UCD’s A-boat in 7 minutes and 48.9 seconds, .4 seconds before OCC’s B-boat and .9 seconds before University of California Berkeley’s Lightweight A-boat.

“I think they showed a lot of fighting spirit at Crew Classic,” novice coach Megan Smith said. “They could have gotten distracted. I think at one point, they were back in fifth place in the race, and then they sprinted back and got third place by a nose. A lot of fighting spirit and a lot of determination…That was probably one of the best things I saw.”


Novice men: Coxswain Megan Beretta, Sean Mccrea, Dylan Widjaja, Wendel Kuhn, Chris Ehling, Joshuah Gagan, Kingly Kong, Justin Kayne and Gabriel Jordan

The men’s novice eight finished fifth in their heat with a time of 7 minutes and 36 seconds, four seconds after Sacramento State University. UC Berkeley, University of Notre Dame and UCI were also part of the competition.

Novice coach Jonathan Flietstra wanted the team to focus on core strengthening and high-rate pieces during spring break.

“We can start throwing in some higher rate stuff starting next week and not get winded,” he noted. “[We are] trying to do long workouts, 40-60 minutes at moderate level to keep the [the] heart rate going.”

The women’s varsity and novice team practiced twice a day, which is approximately 20 hours in one week. The varsity team mainly focused on quick catches, while the novice focused on lengthening through the hips.

“At San Diego, I think partially because of the windy conditions, but our drive seemed very up and down,” Smith explained. “[They were] a little bit more vertical with the weight coming up off the seat and then coming down at the finish, which puts a lot of the energy down onto the water as opposed to moving the energy across the water. So, I really wanted to work on that horizontal drive, and part of that comes with when we get the body angle through the hips.”

One of the team goals the varsity team has is medaling at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta. Simpson said he finds it possible for the women to achieve that goal.

“The performance of the varsity and the novices in San Diego opens up all kinds of possibilities for this team,” he added. “We can begin to imagine, and plan for, a time in the near future when the Long Beach State women will be standing on medal podiums holding trophies aloft. I can’t wait!”


After finishing top three at San Diego Crew Classic, the novice women are focused on trying to make it into grand finals at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association.

For official results, visit Row2k

Photos by Trevor Peach