The Bruins ended their regular season with their 17th consecutive loss to their rivals – the No. 12 USC Trojans.
UCLA rowing lost their annual meet against USC 5-2 this weekend, winning two out of the four races. The Bruins have still never beaten the Trojans in their annual dual meet.
“I don’t think we had the best performance against USC,” coach Amy Fuller Kearney said. “But it was still really fun for me to see the younger athletes just trying to enjoy that rivalry and be a part of it.”
Saturday’s team totals were based on a point system – the varsity eight race was worth 3 points, the second varsity eight race was worth 2 points, while the varsity four and third varsity eight races counted for 1 point each.
The Trojans took the first two races of the day – the varsity eight and the second varsity eight – earning them 5 points. Neither of the races were close, as USC’s boats crossed the finish line about 13 and nine seconds, respectively, ahead of UCLA’s times.
Fuller Kearney said that despite the second-place finishes, she thought that the boats just needed a bit more work. She added that she thought the second varsity eight rowed especially well this weekend, despite an interference during their race.
“There was a little bit of a distraction in that race with a sailboat that was on the course,” Fuller Kearney said. “So they kind of lost their focus, but they still made big strides.”
The Bruins came back to win the varsity four and third varsity eight races, though it wasn’t enough to overcome the Trojans in the team totals. The varsity four has consistently placed highly in their races this season, including making it to the A final at the Clemson Invitational two weeks ago.
The Bruins’ next stop will be the Pac-12 championships in the Sacramento State Aquatics Center in Gold River, California, in two weeks, where five of the teams they’ll face are ranked in the top 20. Fuller Kearney said that this is the team’s last chance at making a case for the NCAA championships at the end of May.
“I mean, this is sort of our last chance to try to get to the NCAAs, so we’ve got to hit the ground running,” Fuller Kearney said. “There’s a number of quality schools out there that are on the bubble, so I don’t think there’s any doubt that the higher we place at Pac-12s, the more likely our chances of going are.”