California State University, Long Beach

Head Race Season is Back!

Monday, 10. October 2016


Photo by Jasmine McGill

10 October 2016

By Sean McCrea

Men’s Varsity rower

After a long hiatus over the summer, Long Beach State (LBS) rowing is back. The women and men took to the water on Sunday the 2nd of October for the first time since the ACRA championships in May for some, and WIRA championships in April for most. Joining Long Beach State in the Bay Series “Most Ordinary” Regatta were; Long Beach Rowing Association (LBRA), Long Beach Junior Crew (LBJC), LA Rowing Club (LARC), a handful of SoCal Scullers, and, Heaven’s Devils (mixed M/W LBRA/LBS 4x)



Photo by Brittney Trinh

Long Beach State women seeing their first action since the ACRA National Championships in Gainesville, GA, where their varsity lightweight 4+ (Rikki, Zee, Emily, Janie, and Sarah) won gold and their open 1x (Destanie) won silver. Coaches Ian Simpson and Alyssa Sunofsky sent out a pair of Varsity pairs, a 4+ and an 8+. The women looked good out there on Sunday, and they have high hopes for similar results as last year to happen again this year. When asked what she thought about the Bay Series, Varsity rower Emily Seiersen said, “It was a fun race to start the season off with and an amazing first experience racing in the pair! I’m hoping Megan DeVore and I can race the pair more in the future.”

Long Beach State men were in the same boat as the women, no pun intended. Last week’s Bay Series was also their first action since the ACRA and WIRA Championships. Coaches AC Chacon and Brent Underwood sent out two 8+’s a piece for Varsity and Novice crews on Sunday. The men’s V8+ had a strong showing, nabbing 2nd overall and shaving 50+ seconds off of their time from last year. A refreshing start to the season for the men. Novice rower Jonathan Ichino got a taste of his first regatta action. I asked him what his thoughts were on the race and he said, “It was fun… but really tiring.”

Big thanks to LBRA for organizing and hosting this Bay Series, and the many more to come in the future!

With head race season upon us, it is time for the men and women’s crews to get back into the swing of things as they gear up for San Diego Fall Classic in mid-November. Furthermore, there will be a few more head race style regattas that we’ll be sure to keep you updated on. Thanks for stopping by, that’ll be way enough for now… ROW BEACH!

The Struggles in Recrewting

Friday, 29. January 2016

Photo by Ariana Gastelum

Men’s head coach Anthony Chacon, team president Jacob Bledsoe, vice president Matthew Maliglig, Zee Guest and Chandler Litton found creative ways to recruit at Long Beach State University’s Move-In Day in August 2015.


By Ariana Gastelum

Women’s Team President

Convincing people to try rowing can be so frustrating. So many people show up to one or two practices thinking they are going to learn everything that day and then decide if they want to continue. That’s not the case at all.

I would say to understand the bare minimum of the sport, you would have to attend at least two weeks of practice. The jargon will not make sense at first; the movements will feel awkward. No one ever starts out as a natural. Sure, there are fast learners, but that doesn’t mean you are never going to catch a crab or tweak your back. In fact, it could take several months until you’re considered “pretty good.”

However, the fact that it takes so long to learn can work in our advantage. The sport requires so much dedication that only motivated people can pursue it. You can’t get away with missing practices, staying up late, eating poorly or frequently drinking because everyone will know. The 2k-test doesn’t lie.

Not only are you learning how to regularly exercise and work in a group, you are learning time management, and you are pushing yourself to limits that you didn’t know were possible. Plus, you’re surrounding yourself with other motivated, committed individuals that want you to succeed because it will help the whole boat. Once you do commit, everyone needs you. It’s not just a sport; it’s a lifestyle.

My Connection With Joan Lind Van Blom as a Long Beach State Rower

Sunday, 11. October 2015


Photo by Ariana Gastelum


By Ariana Gastelum

Women’s Team President

Though I only experienced a handful of encounters with Joan Lind Van Blom, I have no doubt I will remember her the rest of my life.

I had such a strange feeling at yesterday’s ceremony because I expected to see her every time I turned a corner. Jean Strauss concluded the speeches beautifully by playing a few words from Joan. My mind immediately replayed the first conversation I ever had with her.

The first time I ever met Joan was two summers ago. Greg Yotsov, from the men’s team, and I had just finished our erg pieces when she approached us. I had just watched the documentary posted about her and John on the Beach Crew website about a week prior, and I knew exactly who she was. I tried to remain calm, but I could feel my heart beating rapidly, and it wasn’t because I just completed four pyramids on the erg.

The first thing she asked us was if we were on the Long Beach State Rowing Team. When I confirmed, her face lit up. “John! These two row for Long Beach! Hi, I’m Joan!” she said. I couldn’t believe how excited she was to meet me. She sounded even more enthused about it than I did!

I will never forget how I felt after our exchange. Here I was, a girl who had only been rowing for about a year and a half, having a genuine conversation with who I consider one of the strongest females in the world.

Watching the quad, Olympians double and Long Beach Rowing Association (LBRA) Master’s 8+ row at sunset was simply magical. I sat near the rocks with some members of the women’s team. I glanced over at them while the 8+ rowed by. They appeared completely mesmerized by LBRA’s perfect strokes. I’m so lucky, I thought. I get to perform the most beautiful sport with these fantastic, determined women.

If Joan hadn’t started up the Long Beach women’s team in 1970, I may have never picked up an oar. I probably wouldn’t have connected with over 100 people I’ve met from the team. And I would never have been a part of this incredible community that I consider a great part of my life. I couldn’t appreciate her more.


Photo by Matthew Wood

From right to left: Ariana Gastelum, Destanie Brush, Ranita Ram, Penelope Gallardo, Rikki Oden, Kristine Schneider, Emily Seiersen, Lucie Webb, Beatriz Camberos, Marissa Parks and Zee Guest