Rowing

Pac-12 *Championships
Sunday
Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Live stats online

By the Numbers:

0
The number of losses the second varsity eight boat has had this season

3
Number of wins out of five races UCLA had against USC this season

At the end of an electrifying season, the No. 7 UCLA women’s rowing team looks to push past regional foes to land a spot at the national championship at this Sunday’s Pac-12 meet.

“It has been a really great year, so I can’t imagine a better way to end my senior season,” said senior Ariel Handler.

Handler is the coxswain for the second varsity eight boat, which is undefeated this season and is ranked No. 1 in the Pac-12. As a senior, her steady leadership will be missed at season’s end.

“These girls have been working so hard this year, and everything they have done has been going toward this one race,” Handler said. “We’ve beat every single team in this race, so I think they’re ready to just do it again.”

Though the second varsity eight boat remains a strong competitor in Sunday’s meet, it will not be UCLA’s only competitive boat. Having garnered a victory against No. 3 USC, a meet that UCLA lost by one point, the novice eight boat will also be a fierce contender.

Along with its crosstown rivals, UCLA will face tough races against No. 1 California, No. 8 Washington, No. 12 Stanford and No. 17 Washington State.

“I think there are quite a few teams that have the ability to win the championship this weekend,” said coach Amy Fuller Kearney. “Cal is the defending champion and they’re always a really strong team.”

After missing out on the opportunity to compete as a team at the NCAA championship last year, the Bruins are looking to finish well on Sunday in order to secure a place at the final meet.

“They don’t have an exact number of teams that they take from the Pac-12, but in relation to how we do against the other boats, we’ll have a pretty good idea from the afternoon if we’re going or not,” Handler said.

The team received its first-ever NCAA championship selection in 2010, and it has been itching to return, as is evident by its efforts this season.

“I’m really excited because I definitely think we have a chance to do really, really well this year if all of the boats perform at their best,” said junior Britta Syverson.

With the help of an excellent recruiting class, the team earned an unprecedented No. 3 ranking this season, and consistently had boats place first at their regular season meets.

“I think they’ve earned it, honestly,” Handler said. “All of us have earned the race this weekend. They’ve earned the gold medal ““ they just have to go get it.”