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UCLA rowing places last in every race at Longhorn Invitational

UCLA rowing members row down the creek in a race April 16. The Bruins competed in the Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas, over the weekend and placed last in every race. (David Rimer/Assistant Photo editor)

By Ethan Ng

May 2, 2022 5:04 p.m.

After winning every race in their dual meet 16 days ago, the Bruins lost every race they competed in over the weekend.

On Saturday morning, UCLA rowing (1-1) faced off against nonconference opponents No. 1 Texas, No. 10 Ohio State, No. 14 Virginia and No. 16 South Methodist at the Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas. The blue and gold placed fifth in all four races.

The Bruins’ varsity eight boat completed its race in 6:32.196, almost 22 seconds behind first-place Texas and just over three seconds behind fourth-place Virginia.

Although UCLA finished last in each race, interim coach Previn Chandraratna said he was proud of the varsity eight’s performance.

“It was definitely a promising sign that the varsity eight gave Virginia all they could handle,” Chandraratna said. “They were going even speed with them for nearly all of the race and that’s definitely something to build off of for the Pac-12 championship.”

In the second varsity eight race, UCLA registered a time of 6:50.687, nearly 16 seconds after fourth-place Virginia crossed the finish line.

In the varsity four race, UCLA finished in 7:38.346, about 34 seconds faster than its previous outing versus Loyola Marymount 16 days ago. In the second varsity four race, the Bruins recorded a time of 7:53.243, marking a close to 31-second improvement over their time in their most recent dual meet.

Junior port Jane DiLauro said one thing the team has emphasized in training is maintaining speed and rhythm in the middle and latter parts of the race, which she said the Bruins were able to accomplish in Texas.

“One thing that we did across the board really well as a team was to maintain rhythm throughout the race, which is something we’ve been struggling to achieve throughout the season,” DiLauro said.

Redshirt freshman port/starboard Olivia Hay added that endurance has been a focal point of the Bruins’ training and preparation.

“We’ve really tried to find the perfect balance of working hard enough but not getting too tired throughout the middle of the race so we have enough energy for the end,” Hay said.

The invitational marked the blue and gold’s final regular-season event, with the postseason set to kick off with the Pac-12 championships May 15.

Despite UCLA losing each race in Texas, Hay said making the NCAA championships is the main focus of the team, which will start with its performances in the conference championships.

“Our team spirit is incredible,” Hay said. “Everyone is so encouraging of each other. We’ve all got our heads fixed on one goal – to make the NCAA championships.”

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