UCLA is just steps away from clinching its 114th national title with its women’s rowing team on the brink of qualifying for the NCAAs. The women’s performance in the upcoming Pac-12 championship will be vital to their chances at their first ever national title.
No. 20 UCLA women’s rowing will compete in the Pac-12s at Lake Natoma in Gold River, California on Sunday. This competition will determine if they will race for a national title in the NCAAs in two weeks. Last season, the Bruins were unable to make it to the NCAAs, but they are hopeful about a different outcome this year.
“We have the potential to do really well,” said sophomore port Sierra Bronkhorst. “If we really come out this weekend like I know we can, then we can really be right up there with the best teams.”
Each boat has improved its times throughout the season, and according to Bronkhorst, the Bruins’ consistent improvements have come from their nonstop practices and focusing on themselves rather than worrying about the other teams.
The Bruins say they are not focusing on the outcome of last season and are focusing on how well they can do in this year’s competition.
“Every team is a threat and any team can win it,” Bronkhorst said. “If we realize our potential, then we can totally make it to the NCAAs.”
The Bruins know how intense the competition is within the Pac-12 after finishing sixth in the conference last season, but it does not faze them.
“The atmosphere will really get the best out of us,” Bronkhorst said. “It is so competitive and it is the perfect stage to really show what we can do.”
The women’s races will start at 9:15 a.m. with the third varsity eight and will conclude with the first varsity eight at 10:45 a.m. If the Bruins are able to make it to the NCAAs, they will be competing on an even bigger and more competitive stage on May 27.