Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships 2023
By Marissa Long
The last race of this spring season for the Long Beach State Men’s Crew took place at Lake Natoma in Northern California during the last weekend of April. The Men’s crew raced two varsity doubles and a novice four on the two-thousand-meter course. In their first race, the novice four raced against UCSD, ASU, LMU, CPH, and SEA. They finished in third place with a time of seven minutes and twenty-seven point one six four seconds (7:27.164).
By finishing third they qualified for the petite final later that day. In the petite final they finished third behind UCI and UCSD with a time of seven minutes and forty-four point seven nine two seconds (7:44.792). After the races, novice coxswain Emaela stated, “I am proud of my guys despite recent injuries, and it was a good experience for everyone overall. They gave it all they had.”
The Men’s crew had two varsity doubles, an A boat and B boat. The double varsity B boat raced against LMU, UCI, OCC, and SEA in their first race. Staying close to the other boats throughout the race, they finished fourth with a time of eight minutes and one point two two six seconds (8:01.226). By finishing fourth they qualified for the petite final which took place later that day.
In the petite final they were up against six boats and finished fourth with a time of eight minutes and twenty-four point five seconds (8:24.5). They beat SOU and UCD in their final and were only six seconds behind OCC in third place. After his last race, varsity rower and Master’s student Anthony stated, “We did the best that we could, and we did good. We pushed our limits and beat our own mindset. We didn’t give up on each other. I’m satisfied if that was my last race.”
The varsity double A boat had a different type of challenge during their first race. The boats were aligned, and they had a start, but before the first two hundred and fifty meters they experienced breakage and had to stop the race. The other boats re-aligned and restarted the race without them.
One of their oarlocks snapped in half and needed to be replaced. So, the varsity double A boat replaced it quickly and got back on the water to race again through a time trial. They were able to race at the same time as our novice four, which gave them some extra confidence on the water.
With their time trial, they finished in seven minutes and forty point nine six seconds (7:40.96). This boosted them into second place out of six boats, five seconds behind SAC, and qualified them for the grand final which took place the next day. In the grand final the weather was not ideal with a strong headwind.
The varsity double A boat finished fourth out of seven boats with a time of eight minutes and four point four one four seconds (8:04.414), losing to UCSD, LMU, and SAC. After the grand final, team captain and varsity rower Ron stated, “We needed more confidence in the wind, and we could have powered up sooner.”
Our varsity double A boat still got fourth out of eighteen boats in total, which is an impressive achievement. Overall, WIRA ended on a good note for our graduating seniors, and the novice rowers are enthusiastic about what the next year will bring.