Club Sports, Sports

Rowing club set to compete against two rival schools

The Long Beach State rowing club gets geared up to compete for the Gruenberg Cup at the USC Boathouse on Saturday.

The club will be racing against the University of Southern California and San Diego State in a series of races.

Novice rower Josh Levine says that the team is feeling “optimistic” about the upcoming competition and that they’ll do well against their rival schools.

Members like Levine have been training hard for what is to come. Since the rowing is constant, it’s something he’s gotten used to.

“I think it’s gotten easier, but it’s very tough on your body,” Levine said.

Every morning at 6 a.m., the crew practices out in the water at the Pete Archer Rowing Center where they train. The amount of energy they put into their strokes helps generate enough body heat in the crew to keep themselves warm in the cold weather.

In order for the crew to be efficient in their rowing, sometimes head coach Scott Erwin will have some members switch seats on the boat for better synchronization.

Erwin says the goal for the switch is so the crew moves “like a shadow.”

Around 7 a.m. the crew goes into their sprinting practices with intense strokes of fives and tens. They rehearse how the race would go if either USC or SDSU catched up to them.

The sprints help the crew in finding a rhythm to follow up on in terms of intensity.

“You want to sprint at the start, you want to sprint at the end, but you want to hold something steady in the middle,” rowing club president Ronald Reyes said.

Reyes is confident about the crew’s odds at beating one of the two schools, especially SDSU as they were able to beat them at the California Challenge Cup in Newport Beach last month.

The race against them could be close “depending on conditions.” Those conditions being choppy waves at USC’s boathouse.

“That always puts a visiting crew at a disadvantage and I want their shirt,” Reyes said.

The intensity of the training left some crew members winded.

Novice rowing captain Alejandro Juarez was one of the crew members that was exhausted at the end of the practice. The rowing is constant, which can make the crew’s focus dwindle a bit.

“This is a difficult sport and sometimes collecting your mind is going to be difficult,” Juarez said.

Novice rower Anthony Barba felt out of it during practice but was feeling better towards the end of practice.

“Wakes you up in the morning and then once you’re done with that you feel more rejuvenated,” Barba said.

Barba hopes that come competition day, they use their time wisely to get their energy and momentum going.

As intense as the practice was, the competition will be way more intense than that considering who they’re up against.

“That’s given us more an incentive to be a lot more vigorous and intense, especially when conditions aren’t the best,” Juarez said.

The crew believes USC will be their biggest competitor since they know the waters better than them. But that won’t stop LBSU’s drive from using all the power and length needed to win.

Juarez says that USC has more crew members than them. LBSU’s crew is a mixture of novices and veterans.

“I’d say that comes at a disadvantage, but we’ve come through against big disadvantages before,” Juarez said. “I don’t know if we’re capable of pulling through a lot, even though we’ve had some setbacks.”

LBSU’s first race will be an eight-man race against both USC and SDSU at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

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