UCLA rowing came away with a pair of victories in their last home meet of the season.
The Bruins took first in the varsity four and second varsity eight races versus Oregon State this weekend, but couldn’t pull off a victory in the varsity eight.
UCLA started the meet with a commanding victory in the varsity four, taking first and second with times of 7:59.80 and 8:17.30 respectively, and Oregon State coming in last at 8:27.30.
The second varsity eight race was much closer. The two boats were neck and neck at the halfway mark in the race, but UCLA started to pull ahead by about half a boat length and ended up winning the race by just over five seconds.
“It took a while for us to get into our rhythm, but once we got it, we just pulled through,” said senior varsity two stroke Jasmine English.
In the first varsity eight race, it was again tight, with UCLA just behind Oregon State for the first 1000 meters. Oregon started to pull ahead into open water after the halfway mark, and despite a push by the Bruins to catch up, the Beavers won the race by just over four seconds.
Senior varsity two starboard KC Yeagley said that after seeing two close races over the weekend, the team wants to work on their consistency throughout the race, since as the season goes on, victories become more and more important for trying to make it to the championships.
“We just want to make our start as fast as our finish,” Yeagley said.
As this was the last home meet of the season, the team honored their eight seniors with a short ceremony after the races. Coach Amy Fuller Kearney said that the seniors have led the team this season, both in and out of the boats.
“It takes really extraordinary people to be Division I rowers, and even more so to do it for four years,” Fuller Kearney said. “This class is really impressive, and it inspires a lot of the other girls on the team to think ‘Wow, they did this for four years, that’s awesome!’ … They’ve really influenced every aspect of this team.”
Looking ahead, the Bruins will be on the road for the rest of the season, starting with the San Diego Crew Classic next weekend. Fuller Kearney said despite having only competed at home so far this season, she isn’t worried about her team being able to adapt to a new location.
“It’s a 2000-meter racecourse no matter where you go,” Fuller Kearney said. “It’s really about the speed from the start to the finish, no matter the body of water.”