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Sacramento JC rowing crew beats UCLA

Sacramento JC rowing crew beats UCLA

April 5, 1940: The Sacramento Junior College rowing crew, right, takes a lead and beats UCLA at Ballona Creek.

Times writer Dick Hyland reported the next morning:

Displaying a great sprint finish the Sacramento Junior College crew spurted during the last 200 meters of a 2000-meter race with the University of California at Los Angeles varsity yesterday at Ballona Creek to win by three-quarters of a length. The time was 5m. 59.5s….

At the 1500-meter mark, with the thousands who lined the banks of the course at the finish cheering their heads off at the spectacular drive of the two beautiful shells, the Bruins all but ate back that lead.

Yet maintaining its steady sweeping 32-stroke, Sacramento looked fresh and powerful for the next 200 yards while the Bruins were digging their blades into the water to make their shell leap toward the finish. Then Sacramento’s coxswain, Owens, called for a sprint and the stroke oar jumped the count to a vicious, biting 40. The Bruins answered the challenge but simply did not have it in them to stay with the speeding Sacramento shell.

The Bruins’ showing was much better than had been expected by Coach Ben Wallis, Sacramento outweighing the Westwood group eight pounds per man. He said, “the boys improved 100 yards over their last race. Them simply met a better crew. Sacramento rowed a splendid race.”

This photo was published in the April 6, 1940, Los Angeles Times, accompanying Hyland’s article.

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