Long Beach Junior Crew finished its regular season at the 2019 USRowing Southwest Youth Championships on May 5th . The regatta serves as a championship for crews from Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Hawaii and California. The format for this big 3-day regional event is time trials on Friday, then heats, semi-finals and finals on Saturday and Sunday. This is not only a championship regatta for all youth rowers in the region, but it is also a qualifier for the USRowing National Youth Championships. A top 3 finish in a varsity event at Regionals earns an invitation to the USRowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Florida in early June. LBJC had a great regatta overall with 6 boats earning medals and 3 boats qualifying for Nationals. We had all four teams (Novice Men, Novice Women, Varsity Men, and Varsity Women) win medals at Regionals, which was outstanding! LBJC had several crews racing in time trials that just missed qualifying for the semis. We also had many crews who made it out of the semi finals, but just missed the medals such as Brooke Barry who finished an impressive 4th place in the women’s single, a first for LBJC in this event. On Saturday afternoon, the Men’s Novice Team kicked off the weekend’s medal haul. Both of the Novice Men’s 4+ made it to the finals and the Novice Men’s 4+ of Nick Gonzalez, Willem Walden, Tanner Bello, Malik Karteron, and Jacob Bazulto finished in 3rdplace in a time of 7:07.1. Shortly afterward, the Men’s Novice 4x+ of Derek Milton, Liam McDermott, Zachary Hutchings, Mitchell Cruz and coxswain Auburn Marriot also finished in third place in a time of 7:18.8. The Men’s Novice team showed some good depth by not only earning medals in the four and the quad, but also performing well in the eight. Both of the Novice Men’s 8+ made their finals and finished 5th and 6th respectively competing against much larger clubs. No doubt the future is bright!
After the novice racing, the women’s lightweight double of Ella Scales and Charlotte Burham had a very tight race in their final. The girls battled with RowLA the entire way down the course. Our young combination did a great job to make the final but to hang on to a slight edge over RowLA showed real promise. Ella and Charlotte finished third in a time of 8:11.3 clinching the last qualifying spot for Nationals, just 0.5 seconds ahead of 4th. Hot on the heels of the women’s performance, the men’s lightweight double of Logan Chakos and Zach Freidrichs raced their final and gave everyone something to cheer about. The boys were in second place entering the last 500 to the cheering of the crowd. They raised their rating multiple times in the final 50 strokes and eventually rowed down the leaders from California Yacht Club. LBJC’s time was 7:07.0 to CYC’s 7:07.3, 10 seconds ahead of third place. Wow! Our guys made an incredible push to the line to take the victory. This is the second year in a row that Logan and Zach have won this event. We can’t wait to see what they do at Nationals!
On Sunday morning the Men’s Quad of Isaac Medina, Cooper DeRudder, Andrew Mathison, and Benjamin Chait-Walter had an amazing race in their final. The Men’s quad fought well down the course and was in 5th position. In the last quarter of the race, they found more speed and sprinted from 5th to 3rd finishing in a time of 6:29.3, 1.7 seconds ahead of the Redwood Scullers. Not only did they win a Bronze medal, but the boys also punched their ticket to National in Sarasota, Florida. Well rowed! Good to note that the Varsity Men have the fewest number of rowers yet almost half of the rowers qualified for the National Championship!
At roughly the same time, the Women’s Quad of Alex Benson, Lauren Brandmeyer, Molly Gold, and Brooke Barry had an equipment issue in the final less than a minute into their race and were forced to stop rowing. While this was heartbreaking, it does happen. The Women will go through a petition process to get an entry at Nationals.
Last but not least, the Novice Women finished off the regatta and the season with a bang. On Saturday, the Novice Women’s 4x+ finished in 4th place just outside of the medals, 3 seconds back. On Sunday afternoon, Sydney Macklin and Tessa Griffin, who rowed in the Novice 4x+, were back to prove themselves in the Frosh 4x+. Joined by teammates Ella Chiu, Samantha Hutchings, and Annika Morallos, the Frosh 4x+ raced their hearts out and won the final in a time of 8:15.6. The women beat Redwood Scullers by 0.4 seconds and were over 17 seconds ahead of the next crew, amazing! What a fantastic end to a great season. Well rowed LBJC! The crews that qualified for Nationals have 3 more weeks of training left before flying out for the National Championship in Sarasota, FL. Good Luck to them, let’s finish strong LBJC!