Club Sports, Sports

LBSU Rowing club keeps spirits high after disappointing race

The Long Beach State Rowing club falls short of a victory against two rival schools during a competition at the USC Boathouse on Saturday.

The Beach crew competed for the Gruenberg cup against both the University of Southern California and San Diego State in a 2,000-meter race under calm winds and small waves on the water.

LBSU rowing novice crew carrying their four-seat boat at the USC Boathouse on Saturday April 8, 2023.
LBSU Novice crew carrying their four-seat boat at the USC Boathouse on Saturday April 8, 2023. Photo credit: Maverick Marcellana

The first race consisted of an eight-men varsity boat race. The Beach’s crew consisted of a mix of varsity and novice racers, who made the effort to catch up to the other schools, but finished in last place.

Novice rower Giovanni Montoya said that if the crew had gotten another 200 to 300 meters in, they would’ve made it to second place.

“We kind of died a little bit I’ll say, but probably not too much longer after that,” Montoya said in exhaustion after the race.

Rowing coxswain Riley Hobbs was on board the first race with the eight-man crew. Coxswains like Hobbs are in charge of keeping track of the rhythm and power in the crew’s rowing.

“We didn’t win, unfortunately, but I think we came out with a lot of good outcomes of that race,” Hobbs said. “It was one of our better technical races that we’ve ever had, so I’m actually really proud of the guys for that.”

Next race was the four-man varsity races. The Beach’s varsity crew was already feeling exhausted after that first race and the performance had already been dwindling, leaving them in last place again.

Hobbs said the varsity crew felt exhausted “the whole time.”

Rowing club president Ronald Reyes (center) coming together with his veteran crew after losing their four-man race at the USC Boathouse on Saturday April 8, 2023.
Rowing club president Ronald Reyes (center) coming together with his veteran crew after losing their four-man race at the USC Boathouse on Saturday April 8, 2023. Photo credit: Maverick Marcellana

The four-man novice race is one where The Beach showed some promise despite USC always coming out on top of them and SDSU.

“They’ve actually been doing well these past few months,” Hobbs said. “Lots of strength, lots of power.”

The novice crew showed some real power going into the third and final race of the competition. The crew was able to keep a good pace during the first 200 meters of the race and then some.

Novice rowing captain Alejandro Juarez hugging rowing coxswain Emaela Talavera Valdez at the USC Boathouse on Saturday April 8, 2023. Juarez and his crew placed second in the four-man novice race against USC and SDSU.
Novice rowing captain Alejandro Juarez hugging rowing coxswain Emaela Talavera Valdez at the USC Boathouse on Saturday April 8, 2023. Juarez and his crew placed second in the four-man novice race against USC and SDSU. Photo credit: Maverick Marcellana

When The Beach reached for the last 500 meters of the race, they powered through and stroked to their heart’s content, landing them in second place.

“I had so much faith in these guys and they really proved themselves,” Novice rower and captain Alejandro Juarez said.

Rowing head coach Scott Erwin said a lot more work is needed in terms of stamina and endurance for the crew, despite the novice crew snagging second place.

“Good fight, rode well, rode hard, came in second,” Erwin said. “First would have been better but I’ll take the second.”

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