Long Beach Rowers Claim Three Gold Medals, Qualify For Nationals

FOUR junior women rowers representing the Long Beach Rowing Association (LBRA) returned home with five gold medals after a busy weekend at the USRowing SW Junior Regional Championships on Lake Natoma outside Sacramento on May 4-6, 2012

FOUR junior women rowers representing the Long Beach Rowing Association (LBRA) returned home with three gold and one silver medal after a busy weekend at the USRowing SW Junior Regional Championships on Lake Natoma outside Sacramento.

Individual honors went to LBRA's 18-year-old Mackenzi Sherman who won three gold medals; in the women's single-scull, and, with her teammates in the women's double-scull and quadruple-scull events. Fifteen year old Jill McGill partnered Mackenzi in the double-scull and the quadruple-scull, and together with her older sister, Jasmine, finished second in the women's lightweight double-scull, winning the silver medal.

The small Long Beach team was up against the best young rowers from across the western United States for whom top-three finishes at the regatta were required to qualify for the Youth National Championships to be held in Tennessee June 8-10.

On Saturday Mackenzi raced in the single-scull, won her heat and qualified for the final, which she won in 9min 10secs, 4-seconds ahead of the runner-up from Stockton and the third-placed sculler from Stanford. Later on Saturday Mackenzi competed with her teammates (Jill McGill, Jasmine McGill and Emily Loudenback) in a heat of the quadruple-scull, easily qualifying for the next day's semi-final, which they duly won, and moved on to the final to be held later on Sunday afternoon.

Also on Sunday, Mackenzi and Jill McGill teamed up to compete in the double-scull. Leading their heat from the start of the 2km course, the LBRA duo romped away with a stunning exhibition of sculling to win by a margin of 44 seconds, prompting Dan Herbert, the president of the Oakland Strokes rowing team, to say that he had just witnessed one of the most awesome displays of rowing ever seen at the junior, or indeed any level. National team hopefuls Mackenzi and Jill went on to land the winner's medal ahead of runners-up Stanford with a boat from the rival Long Beach Junior Crew in third place.

The final of the quadruple-sculls which was the last race of the Championships, was the widely anticipated showdown between LBRA and LBJC - respectively winners of each semi-final. After 700 meters the LBRA boat overtook the fast-starting LBJC and went on to record LBRA's third gold medal of the weekend, while the LBJC fended off a late challenge from Tempe and River City to win the silver medal. The race starts at 42:00 in this video (courtesy USRowing): http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/22413315

In addition to their three victories, the four LBRA girls qualified 4 boats for the national championships.

Please contact Coach Ian Simpson at longbeachrowing@hotmail.com for information about LBRA's summer and year-round racing programs for junior and young adult rowers.