The Bruins came away from the Clemson Invitational with mixed results.
“I think the racing was a little bit up and down,” said coach Amy Fuller Kearney.
UCLA rowing finished 12th out of the 21 teams in the final team-by-team point totals at this weekend’s meet. No. 4 Ohio State finished first, followed by No. 9 Virginia and No. 12 Wisconsin.
Fuller Kearney said that being able to compete against such a large field of teams was great preparation for the Pac-12 and the NCAA championships in May, especially since eight of the teams who participated are ranked among the top 20 in the nation.
“It definitely changes the feel on the course,” Fuller Kearney said. “Everybody out here is fast, so it’s a really good opportunity to test our speed.”
UCLA’s varsity four crew recorded the Bruins’ best finish Friday at second place, and the third varsity eight took third in their race. In addition, UCLA’s varsity eight posted a fourth-place finish, while the second varsity eight boat finished sixth.
On Saturday, the Bruins raced in heats in the morning session and the finals in the evening. The third varsity eight and varsity four crews each advanced to their A final races with second- and third-place finishes, respectively. In the finals, the third varsity eight took fourth, and the varsity four took seventh.
Fuller Kearney said that she was pleased with the high placements by the varsity four and third varsity eight, and that she just wants more consistency in her first and second varsity eights’ races.
“There were some definite highs this weekend, like the varsity four did an excellent job, getting seventh in the A final, and the third varsity eight getting fourth place overall,” Fuller Kearney said. “I think that with the first and second varsity eight, it’s a competitive field, and I don’t think we were successful in putting three solid races together.”
One of the teams the Bruins faced was rival No. 13 USC, who took fifth place overall at the invitational, and who will host the Bruins in two weeks for a dual meet. Out of the three races in which both teams had a boat, USC beat out UCLA twice.
Fuller Kearney said that though the rivalry meet is coming up, the team is concentrating on the more important Pac-12 championships that come right after.
“To be honest, as a program what we need to do is focus on the conference championships at the end of the month,” Fuller Kearney said. “I know USC is a big rivalry for UCLA, but for our program right now and for our movement forward we need to really keep our eyes on that Pac-12 championship so we can be sure we’re ready to go there.”