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Women’s rowing kicks off season with sweeping win against San Diego State

No. 20 UCLA rowing opened its 2020 campaign with a victory over San Diego State on Saturday, the second year in a row the Bruins have defeated the Aztecs to start the year. UCLA swept every race in the regatta. (Daniel Leibowitz/Daily Bruin staff)

By Roland Houseman

March 8, 2020 9:31 p.m.

A young Bruin rowing team started off its season with a victory.

No. 20 UCLA rowing (1-0) defeated San Diego State (0-1) on Saturday in Marina Del Rey. This marks the second year in a row in which the Bruins have defeated the Aztecs in their season opener at the Marina Aquatic Center.

UCLA swept every race versus San Diego State, winning all four competitions that took place.

The Bruins’ varsity eight narrowly defeated the Aztecs’ boat, finishing 1.40 seconds before their opponents. UCLA came in at 6:42.50, while San Diego State finished within a boat’s length at 6:43.90.

“We have three freshmen in the (varsity eight), and quite a few freshmen in the (second varsity eight), so we’re a very young team,” said coach Amy Fuller Kearney. “We’re just starting to get a feel for each other. I thought today was a great start.”

The rest of the races finished with larger gaps between the teams.

UCLA’s second varsity eight finished in 6:59.20, over six seconds before San Diego State’s did. The third varsity eight race also recorded a six-second-plus margin of victory, with the Bruins coming in at 7:13.20.

The varsity four race was much closer, as the Bruins finished at 7:53.40 to the Aztecs’ 7:56.60.

UCLA also raced its fourth varsity eight team to no opponent. Its time was 7:35.80.

“All the boats got open water on SDSU so it was good. I think it’s good having new people, new dynamic,” said starboard sophomore Lucy Holgate.

UCLA’s opener was presented as the Centennial Regatta, and attracted many alumni and other supporters who came out and cheered the team on, something Holgate said gave the Bruins a boost of energy.

“It’s always nice having all the alumni here,” Holgate said.

Fuller Kearney was honored at the end of the meet for her history with the program and her fight against breast cancer. She was appointed as head coach in 2001 for UCLA’s inaugural rowing season as an NCAA program.

“I have always felt so fortunate to be a part of the UCLA community – I know how special it is,” Fuller Kearney said. “It’s super meaningful and it’s been fun to see the great turnout.”

UCLA will host its final regatta of the season Saturday as the team faces off against Loyola Marymount before going on the road for the remainder of the year.

Last season, the Bruins’ first two competitions were also against the Aztecs followed by the Lions. They defeated both opponents and will have a chance to begin the new campaign the same way.

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Roland Houseman | Alumnus
Houseman joined the Bruin as a senior in 2019 and contributed until he graduated in 2020. He spent time on the rowing beat.
Houseman joined the Bruin as a senior in 2019 and contributed until he graduated in 2020. He spent time on the rowing beat.
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