Lion Men Top Bruins in Head-to-Head Competition

Oct. 31, 2011

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LOS ANGELES In their first official race of the 2011-12 season, and the LMU Centennial Celebration contest for men's rowing, the Lions edged UCLA in a head-to-head race at Ballona Creek in Marina Del Rey.

The Lions' varsity eight won a thrilling race in a tie of 20:29.6, just 0.5 seconds ahead of UCLA which crossed the finish line in 20:30.1.

"The race was really close from start to finish," said LMU stroke seat Glen Akiona. "Off the start UCLA took the lead and held it up until the top of the marina with a lower stroke rate than us which shows how strong the UCLA guys are. We over took UCLA at the turn by cutting a little closer and managed to hold them off until the 2k mark.

"From 2k down it turned into a different race, we brought the rate up and UCLA matched us," Akiona continued. "(UCLA) came back from a boat length down and finished a seat behind us. I think we all need to work a bit more on our technique but that comes with more time on the water. I was really excited by how we all blended and the tenacity we showed. I feel like we all have a lot of potential and want to prove ourselves. And we couldn't have won without our cox."

The lineup for the men's varsity eight race consisted of Akiona, Brett Buettner, Robert Thames, Brendan Henderson, Lenny Turcios, Robert Brennan, Jovan Flores, Brandon Johnson and coxswain Jennifer Sonnier.



"I am incredibly proud of my guys," said LMU men's coach Evan Yates. "The varsity boat did a great job to fight the whole race and fortunately was able to maintain a narrow lead to win. The novice guys also did a great job sticking with UCLA's second varsity boat. This was a great learning experience for them and hopefully we can keep making significant improvements to keep increasing the boat speed."

UCLA's second varsity eight won the match-up against LMU's novice eight, but final times were not available.

"It was a great and a very exciting race" LMU Head Coach and Rowing Coordinator Vaclav Kacir said. "The men of LMU were pushed all the way to the last stroke by very solid UCLA boat to capture this valuable and close win in our centennial race."

Both the men's and women's rowing teams are in action this weekend, beginning with the Head of the Marina on Saturday, Nov. 5, hosted by the California Yacht Club in the Marina De Rey harbor. Select LMU boats will also race on Sunday, Nov. 6 in the Newport Autumn Rowing Festival.

Varsity 8+ Lineup
Jennifer Sonnier- cox
Glen Akiona- 8
Brett Buettner- 7
Robert Thames- 6
Brendan Henderson- 5
Lenny Turcios- 4
Robert Brennan- 3
Jovan Flores- 2
Brandon Johnson- 1

Novice 8+ Lineup
Allie Shorin- cox
Caleb Nyberg- 8
Sean Astrup- 7
Mike Morehart- 6
Theo Jacobson- 5
DJ Juarez- 4
Jordan Lang- 3
Chris Wonder- 2
Jeremy Burke- 1



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