California State University, Long Beach

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

LBSU & BCA @ San Diego Crew Classic

Friday, 27. March 2015


Join us this weekend as Long Beach State competes with many crews from around the nation at the 42nd Annual San Diego Crew Classic. Racing is up to eight lanes across Mission Bay, with heats beginning on Saturday, and finals on Sunday morning. Beach has entered into the following events:

– Womens DII-DIII-Club Varsity (8+)
– Womens DII-DIII-Club Novice (8+)
– Mens Varsity Cal Cup (8+)
– Mens Collegiate Novice Derek Guelker Memorial Cup (8+)

This will be the first year that the Beach Crew Alumni Association sponsors an entry in the “Men’s Alumni 8+”. The heats and finals are both on Saturday.

The Beach Crew Alumni Association will be on Tent Row near the south entrance. Friends and parents are welcome to stop by.

If you cannot join us in person, Crew Classic offers excellent streaming video coverage of all races, with camera boats following the race as well as aerial shots from a huge tower. Cost for the 2-day event is $15.

More information and official schedule is at You can find the team’s events marked as “CSULB” or “BCA”.

Beach Battles Wind at San Diego Crew Classic, Prepares for Championships

Sunday, 13. April 2014


By Ariana Gastelum
Women’s Varsity Member
Contributing Writer

The Long Beach State Rowing Team (Beach Crew) powered through their 2,000-meter races in harsh winds at the San Diego Crew Classic on April 5 and 6 in San Diego, Calif.

They plan to bring that power to their upcoming competitions in Newport and Sacramento, Calif.

“The strong winds coming from the north favored the inside lanes one and two while making conditions progressively tougher across the course to the outside lane eight,” women’s coach Ian Simpson said.

The men’s varsity eight competed in the Men’s Collegiate Varsity Cal Cup, the first race of the regatta at 7:20a.m. They finished in fifth place in their heat with a time of 6 minutes and 41.05 seconds, ahead of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and Sacramento State University, only two seconds behind University of California Davis (UCD).

They raced again later that afternoon in the third final (places 13 – 18) and came third, beating San Diego State University, Loyola Marymount University and Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.

“The second race was definitely better,” said Jake Skoll, stroke of the men’s varsity eight. “The water quality was a little better. I felt like we were more in unison. We just had better power and better competiveness as compared to the other race.”

The women’s novice eight was placed in lane four of the Collegiate Women’s Division II /Division III /Club Novice preliminary heat. The crew led UCD, University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), Orange Coast College (OCC) and University of California San Diego (UCSD) up until the 1,000-meter mark – the halfway point in the race. Mills College had been disqualified before the start.

“These five crews came down the course locked in a desperate battle, with no boat giving quarter, despite the fact that they were all guaranteed to race again in the next day’s final,” Simpson said. “The officials in the launches in the following race told me that were it not for a couple of mishaps, the crew would have had a very good chance of winning the race. Given the approximate four-second differential between each lane, caused by the variable water conditions, that was testament to the potential of the crew.”

The eight finished in fifth place with a time of 7 minutes and 44.6 seconds, ahead of University of California Irvine (UCI). They were only two seconds behind UCD and four seconds behind UCSB.

In Sunday’s final, the novice women finished fourth, behind UCSD, OCC and UCSB with a time of 8 minutes and 11.88 seconds.

“Once again, the crew raced well and were narrowly in the lead at 1,000 meters to go,” Simpson said. “They faltered a little and ended up a creditable fourth place, beating UC Davis by four seconds and finishing just three seconds behind Santa Barbara. The crew’s performance was all the more remarkable as it contained three women who picked up an oar for the first time in February.”

Alexandra Savage, stroke seat of the novice women’s eight, had competed in two races prior to Crew Classic. However, this was only Reid Atkins’s and Sarah Dresser’s second time ever racing.

The women’s varsity four was drawn into lane six in the Division II/Division III/Club preliminary heat. They finished fifth, ahead of UCSB and UCSD’s B boat. Due to an error, their time was not recorded.

In the final on Sunday, the varsity four competed in lane five with the same teams: UCSD’s A and B boats, University of Central Oklahoma, OCC and Barry University. They again finished fifth, ahead of UCSB and UCSD’s B boat with a time of 8 minutes and 44.43 seconds.

“Both crews would have done better if they had been drawn into better lanes for the preliminary heat, which would have put them on a more equal footing with the crews that beat them,” Simpson said.

Despite the wind, the novice men, who competed in the Men’s Collegiate Second Varsity heat, managed to beat their personal best time for a 2,000-meter race. The team finished in eighth place against Northeastern University, University of California Berkeley, Stanford University, Gonzaga University, UCSD, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and Santa Clara University with a time of 7 minutes and 11.93 seconds.

“The men’s novice team met my expectations Friday night, before the racing even began,” said Jonathan Flietstra, men’s novice coach. “We have two novice eights still committed to showing up every day – still committed towards coming to practice; still determined to get better, faster, stronger and become great rowers. When I rowed, by this time in the season, it was normal to maybe have eight guys left. So, when I am asked if the weekend at San Diego was successful or not, I am not looking at Saturday or Sunday. Instead, Friday evening, as I am privileged to be a part of the rowing program at [California State University of Long Beach] in this kind of growth.”

Reginald Harris, a novice who joined in January, took part in this novice boat. He had competed in only two races prior to Crew Classic.

“I think it would be better if we focused on the whole race, [so that we don’t] die off at the end of the race,” he said.

Harris mentioned that in the heat the crew had a strong start, and the petite final (places 7-12) that took place on Sunday also felt strong up until the second half.

In order to prepare for Crew Classic, the men’s and women’s teams both held double practices each day over the spring break (March 31-April 3) that lasted four to five hours each day.

“In the evening, we had practice at 6,” Skoll said. “We would do almost a repeat of our morning practice – not necessarily the same workout, but we would get out on the water and start rowing.”

Skoll added that in the future, the team would benefit if there were a greater focus on conditioning.

“I think ‘erging’ is important and a lot of strength training,” he said. “I think we need to build a lot of muscle – lean muscle. I feel like weights and ergs should be a bigger portion or at least a more prevalent portion than it is now.”

Flietstra noted that he plans to continue the team’s routine training as the crew prepares for the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta (WIRA).

“Many of them are determined to get bigger and stronger,” he said. “I do not think we can afford to take it easy going into WIRA. We will continue to do what we have been doing and look forward to WIRA and next season.”

In preparation for the WIRA Championships the women’s team will spend the majority of its time in stable line-ups and work hard on developing crew cohesion and a racing mentality, according to Simpson.

“While not as bad as San Diego, the Sacramento course can also be affected by crosswinds, and it is important to be in the inside lanes for every race,” he said. “Therefore, at the Chapman Invitational, I expect to see our priority boats perform well and demonstrate that they deserve to be seeded highly for WIRA.”

Full results of the San Diego Crew Classic: