California State University, Long Beach

Women’s Varsity Eight Finishes First at Newport Chase

Friday, 28. November 2014

1607116_907935275886295_7546142374057148003_n

Photo by Evan Mauno

Varsity eight (left to right): Coxswain Sarah Dresser, Kelsey Davis, Sydney Abad, Maria Guardiola, Sam McFeely, Alexandra Savage, Rikki Oden, Ariana Gastelum and Cecilia Guerrero

 

By Rikki Oden

Varsity Rower

Nothing feels as good as winning, and it felt especially good to finish up this semester with a win.

At first, I couldn’t remember this race happening last year, but that’s because I was recovering from the flu so I didn’t race.

This course isn’t unfamiliar to us since we race in Newport in the spring, but those are 2k races instead of the typical 5k races that happen in the fall. This race, the Newport Chase, was actually 5,150 meters, making it our longest race for the whole year.

As usual, the race felt like an eternity–yet was over in a flash. The rhythm and energy of the boat was solid throughout the whole race; I’m proud of that. We really came together as a team to win this. We took the things we’d worked on in practice—the many drills and the relentless erg pieces—and brought them into this race.

We ended up winning by a mere two seconds, and those seconds can definitely be attributed to our coxswain, Sarah. She steered the best course possible and managed to pass another boat on the inside of a turn. Watching that boat fall back midway through the race helped me focus in and really pull hard.

Overall, I enjoyed this race and winning made it even better. Now that we finished fall 5ks with a victory I’m definitely ready for 2k season.

Varsity Men’s Last Race of Fall Season Ends with a Bang, Literally

Friday, 21. November 2014

Photo by Ariana Gastelum

Photo by Ariana Gastelum

At last weekend’s regatta, Head of the Harbor, the varsity men’s race experienced a series of unfortunate events including a broken footplate and a seat popping off the tracks. Coach Robert Edwards immediately investigated what happened after the race and discussed it with his rowers, motivating them to redeem themselves in the spring.

 

By Brad McCormick

Varsity Rower

I love being in a boat. I love when we’re on the water during a race, the focus in the boat and the competition when you can see the boats around you. However, the Head of the Harbor race at the Port of LA last weekend proved to be quite the opposite, unfortunately. The race, which is 5000 meters long, proved to be challenging for the men’s varsity boat because of a multitude of incidents. Not even 500 meters into the race, the support boards underneath the shoes of my footplate snapped in half. This means that for the remaining 4500 meters of the race the “drive” of my stroke compared to jumping off a trampoline…

Then, as we approached the bridge on the course, the seat of my teammate in bow came off the track, causing him to attempt to put the seat back on for the last 100 meters. It’s frustrating having these things happen, feeling that ineffective, and seeing the boats around you just walk away.The only thing I could truly focus on at this point was staying in time with the guys sitting stroke pair, using just my arms and body to get the strongest stroke I could produce even through the lack of support in my feet, which led to distracting leg cramps. If I learned anything from this race, it’s that rowing truly is a mental sport.

The whole time I was racing, I was so frustrated that these things were happening, yet I pushed through the pain and dissatisfaction anyway. I realized later though, that in reality, these things were events that I couldn’t control and that there is an importance in keeping boats in good shape, making sure that all the boat parts are in racing condition. Altogether, what I took away from this race is that although these incidents suck, they happen. And even though there will be these frustrations, there isn’t anything that will deter my love for being in a boat. We will only go up from here.

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 http://www.row2k.com/results/files/20141102NaplesIsland.pdf.