California State University, Long Beach

Long Beach Pulls Negative Splits at So Cal Opening Day

Saturday, 14. March 2015

The women’s varsity four, comprised of Lucie Webb, Destanie Brush, Jayne Goodwin, Sydney Abad and coxswain Silbia Ochoa, placed second in the grand finals at the 2015 Southern California Opening Day Regatta.

 All photos by Stefano Balbusso


By Ariana Gastelum

Publicity Manager

Varsity Rower

Three boats from Long Beach State Rowing women’s team qualified for finals at the 2015 Southern California Opening Day Regatta on March 9 at Marine Stadium in Long Beach, California.

All teams except the women’s novice eight had to race in a time trial, a 2,000-meter head race, before competing in the finals or petite finals that took place later that day.

The women’s varsity four, which consisted of Lucie Webb, Destanie Brush, Jayne Goodwin, Sydney Abad and coxswain Silbia Ochoa, came in second at finals with a time of 8 minutes and 32 seconds, 20 seconds faster than their performance in the time trial. University of California San Diego (UCSD) finished four seconds before. University of California Santa Barbara’s (UCSB) B and A boat followed.

The varsity eight placed fourth in grand finals with a time of 7 minutes and 29 seconds, six seconds after OCC and UCSD. UCSB finished first at 7 minutes and 15 seconds. Varsity also placed fourth during the time trials, one second before UCSD’s B boat, and UCSB’s B boat.


Women’s varsity 8+: Coxswain Sarah Dresser, Kelsey Davis, Penelope Gallardo, Maria Guardiola, Sam McFeely, Alexandra Savage, Rikki Oden, Ariana Gastelum and Cecilia Guerrero


The women’s novice eight finished fourth with a time of 8 minutes and 6.8 seconds, after OCC, UCSD, and UCSB’s A boat. This was their first 2,000-meter race ever.

“It’s kind of hard to know exactly what to expect because they are so new to it in the fall,” novice coach Megan Smith said. “I was very happy with the way they prepared. They also stayed really positive after the race even though they came in fourth. A lot of people could be really disheartened by that, but they were all really excited.”

Smith wants the novice team to build strength and rid their expectations on how much they can achieve, so they can accomplish higher results from themselves and as a team.

“My goal for the team is to teach them to row well and make them feel like they have learned a lot from the beginning to the end because then, I think, they’ll stick with it,” Smith said.

The following Tuesday, Smith had the whole women’s team observe the 2013 World Championships after practice. She wanted to show them how to have direct catches in the water, minimal wasted energy and control during the recovery of a stroke.

“We are going to win by rowing the best, and the best rowers don’t miss any water,” she said. “That is the most efficient – to put your blade in quickly at full compression.”

The men’s varsity eight finished fourth in the petite finals with a time of 6 minutes and 43 seconds, after San Diego State University, University of Southern California (USC) and Loyola Marymount University. Their second heat was nine seconds faster than the time trial.

“We moved the boat better at So Cal than we did at Gruenberg Cup,” varsity rower Patrick Tilley said. “Right now, we’re just really working on trying to get the boat up to speed as fast as we can and then maintaining that…We just got [Brad McCormick] back from being sick, and we are finally having a set lineup that has power and workable technique that will be able to move the boat.”


Men’s varsity 8+: Coxswain Eric Oates, Jake Skoll, Patrick Tilley, Tyler Miguel, Jacob Bledsoe, Brad McCormick, Trevor Peaches, Jake Muñoz and Ryan Woolner


The men’s novice eight A boat finished seventh in their heat with a time of 7 minutes and 19 seconds, 15 seconds behind USC’s A boat. This is a 52 second improvement from their last race at Gruenberg Cup.

“When I met them after their race, before the results came in, I asked them how they felt about it,” novice coach Jonathan Flietstra said. “I told them no matter what the time results were, this was a successful race.”

Flietstra also said he wants to see individual improvement, so he’s been tracking their individual progress and displaying in on graphs.

“As individuals improve, naturally, the team improves,” he added. “I think we learn the most when we are uncomfortable. For example, last week one of the boats was getting very comfortable with rowing on the feather…I even saw some smiles…I immediately changed it up and told them to row on the square. [The goal is] to be uncomfortable…content, but never satisfied.”

For official results, visit Row2k.

Men’s Team Powers Through at Gruenberg Cup

Sunday, 8. March 2015

Photo by Sydney Abad


By Ariana Gastelum

Publicity Manager

Varsity Rower

Several members of the Long Beach State Rowing men’s team faced the challenging 2,000-meter sprint more than once at the Gruenberg Cup in the Port of Los Angeles on March 1.

The team competed every race with one boat from two other schools, San Diego State University (SDSU) and University of Southern California (USC)

The varsity eight finished third in their heat with a time of 6 minutes and 59.8 seconds, behind USC, who finished in 6 minutes and 34 seconds. The current was moving against all crews.

“They stayed with the racers,” Head coach Rob Edwards said. “They didn’t lose ground at the body of the race, but they did not advance at all during the race, either.”

Edwards also noted the team is working to improve on its start sequences and getting the boat up to speed in a shorter amount of time. They have been practicing starts and 500-meter sprints all week before the Southern California Opening Day Regatta.

The lightweight eight ended third in 7 minutes and 52 seconds, behind SDSU, who finished in 7 minutes and 28 seconds.

Almost everyone in the lightweight boat had raced in a different heat earlier that day. The boat consisted of five varsity members who were also in the varsity eight: Jake Skoll, Patrick Tilley, Mark Saavedra, Matthew Maliglig and Ryan Woolner and three novices. One novice had just raced in the novice-eight heat.

“He had to hot seat as soon as his boat came back,” Edwards said. “He stayed in the boat and the other seven guys got in. So, I mean that was probably a little tough for him, especially.”

The Gruenberg Cup was the first regatta of the season for the men’s team. It was the novices’ first 2k experience, and it was also a reminder of what competing feels like for varsity. Edwards is certain they will do well, hopefully competing in petite finals at San Diego Crew Classic and finals at Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association.

See official results on Row2k.

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