March 14, 2009
The UCLA women's rowing team swept its second event of the season, out-performing San Diego State in four races at Ballona Creek in Marina del Rey on Saturday.
The Bruins rallied from nearly a length behind in the Novice Eight race and won by less than two seconds. In the subsequent three races, UCLA built early leads and lengthened them for convincing victories.
With 500 meters to the finish in the Novice Eight race, the Bruins began gaining. They were able to jump ahead at the finish by increasing their rate to 36 strokes a minute.
"Everybody was burning, so we just laid it on," said freshman two-seat Cheyenne Manske. "Our cox (Leslie Chou) saw that they (SDSU) were losing stroke, so we just went for it."
The result was a half-length victory in a race where the Bruins were behind for nearly 1500 meters.
"There are six women in that boat who never rowed before," said Head Coach Amy Fuller-Kearney. "It was a great job by the coxswain to recognize (SDSU's) slowdown."
In the next three races, the Bruins were never threatened. They won the Varsity Four competition by more than 15 seconds, the second Varsity Eight race by nearly 10 seconds and the final Varsity Eight race by a whopping 23.33 seconds, more than four lengths.
Still, in the preseason rankings this week, UCLA was not voted in the nation's Top 20, settling for five votes and a mention in the "receiving votes" category.
"We didn't get voted in the Top 20 and that motivated us," said Fuller-Kearney. "We looked at the rankings and saw that there were 13 teams we'll hopefully see on our schedule. We love being the underdog.
"All week we worked on getting better together," she continued. "Today, we were better mentally, especially in the Varsity Eight races."
The Bruins will next race at the Pac-10 Challenge in Redwood Shores, Calif. on March 28 and 29. Their next home event will be against USC on May 2.
UCLA (Stroke: Andrea Panayides; 7: Nadia Basillio; 6: Megan Danley; 5: Laurel Hyatt-Miller; 4: Shawn McGuire; 3: Jennifer Barnard; 2: Cheyenne Manske; bow: Piper Akol; cox: Leslie Chou) -- 6:21.07 (+1.56)
SDSU -- 6:22.63
Second Varsity Eight
UCLA (Stroke: Taylor Vella; 7. Carolina Curson; 6. Kaitlin Doering; 5. Destinie Slavich; 4. Hayley Robinson; 3. Christina Sprouse; 2. Katrina Darracq; bow: Lynn Hancock; cox: Ariel Handler) -- 7:07.16 (+9.62)
SDSU -- 7:16.78
First Varsity Eight
UCLA (Stroke: Lauren Counter; 7. Anastasia Alexander; 6. Kristin Fitzmorris; 5. Vanessa Teff; 4. Shizue Reid; 3. Megan Lightfoot; 2. Lexie Howard; bow: Rachel LaBella; cox: Alaizah Koorji) -- 6:49.89 (+23.33)