1974 Long Beach Lightweight Rowing Team

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1974 Long Beach Lightweight Rowing

Western Sprints Champions

Aftermath to the 1974 Season

Summer Season and Success with the Long Beach Rowing Association

After the success of the 1974 college season, the rowing continued through the summer. Coach Peter Mallory and several teammates prepared during the summer with the goal to compete and win at the Royal Canadian Henley at St. Catharines, Ontario. We were joined by rowers from other programs who were drawn by the accomplishments of the college team. The team would practice and compete as members of the Long Beach Rowing Association.

Royal Canadian Henley

Two-a-day workouts would ensue at an intense, grueling level. To earn money for the trip to St. Catharines, several team members worked during the day between workouts at various odd jobs. Flyers advertising our services had been prepared and distributed to the local community. Team members worked at various jobs from painting, to cleaning houses, to clearing out debris and yard work. After several weeks of working out and preparing the team flew to Toronto, staying first at the Toronto Argonaut boathouse while Coach Mallory drove our boats to St. Catharines. After reaching St. Catharines the team set up residence in a local field adjacent to the rowing venue. We rowed in the Royal Canadian Henley and had several wins and places.

Royal Canadian Henley Results, 1974:

Junior Lightweight Men's Four:
First Place: Long Beach Rowing Association
John Fletcher
Ted Beaty
Roy Beard
Rod Johnson
Junior Men's 135 Single:
Third Place: Long Beach Rowing Association
Chuck Wright
Junior Lightweight Men's Eight:
Second Place: Long Beach Rowing Association
Bob Rogen
Bob Latina
Gordon McCleary
Ron Okura
John Phelps
Scott Roop
Chuck Wright
Ann Heuser



145 Pound 4

US Nationals

After the success at St. Catharines most of the team returned home to Southern California and other locations. However, some team members decided to continue rowing and compete in the US Nationals held at Orchard Beach, New York later that summer. They traveled by bus to Cambridge, Massachusetts where they would take up residence at the University Lutheran Church and work out twice a day from the Harvard Boathouse on the Charles River. A joint Long Beach Rowing Association and Cambridge Rowing Club eight was formed to compete in the US Nationals.

After a few weeks working out in Cambridge, the team drove to Orchard Beach and competed in the US Nationals Open Eight and took a silver medal in the competition. The team then flew back home to Southern California to prepare for the next college season.

US Nationals Results, 1974:

Silver Medal: Long Beach Rowing Assoc./Cambridge Rowing Club Eight
Steve Azar
Bob Latina
Fred Mayfield
Dave Peterson

Coach Pete Mallory Not Retained

Despite the accomplishments of the 1974 season which saw a Western Sprints championship, several wins and places during the summer at the Canadian Henley and a silver medal at the US Nationals, Pete Mallory was inexplicably not retained as coach of the Long Beach State Lightweight crew. A regime change had occurred and the new head coach of the college rowing program had decided not to bring Pete back as coach. In lieu, a new coach was hired.

Captain John Fletcher's Letter to the Long Beach State Paper:

"Long Beach Sports: No Desire to Win"

To be blunt CSLB doesn't even want to know that winning exists. At the end of this summer the coach of last year's championship lightweight crew team was fired and replaced by inexperience. A very real and sad fact is that excellence is not rewarded or even encouraged here at Long Beach. Two winning basketball coaches, the women's gymnastic coach and a former track coach have seen their careers at Long Beach are ended prematurely by lack of financial support and by school policies that are against the competitive drive necessary to win.

The job of Lightweight Crew coach is a non-paying position which like other coaching positions at Long Beach points out the need for some fiscal reform. The crew program here is not registered under the Athletic Dept. but rather under a "club activities sport," which is supported by student fees and falls under the policies of the student government. The only physical connection the crew program has with CSLB is that the head coach teaches two 1-unit rowing classes.

This summer the former head coach felt he should resign his position to a new candidate. The choice was narrowed down to two coaches. One was last year's Oregon freshmen coach and the other was our Long Beach State lightweight coach. The final decision was made and the former Oregon coach is now the Long Beach head coach. Part of the head coach's responsibility is to choose the women's crew coach, the freshmen coach and the lightweight coach. In the case of the freshmen and women last year's appointees were told they could resume their (non paying) positions this year. Our situation as lightweights was different. Our coach from last year who led us to a 23-0 collegiate season was not retained because of conflicting attitudes and personality clashes with the new head coach. In his place the new head coach asked a new person to step in because they were more compatible in their views about the rowing hierarchy. This will be the new lightweight coach's first season as coach.

Because we, as students and lightweight oarsmen do not agree with this decision, and because we belong to a program run by students for students, we feel we were compromised in the worst possible way. While the choices for the new coaches were being made, 15 men from the lightweight team were in Eastern Canada and on the East Coast with the former lightweight coach. We were racing international competition in Canada and were rowing in the U.S. Nationals in New York. We won gold medals in Canada and silver medals at the U.S. Nationals. This was rowing done outside of the school. This was rowing to win at an elite level. It represents dedication to ourselves and to our coach. We came back one week before school started ready to start a better and bigger season. Instead we have come back to the boathouse and found that the foundation for our winning team, our coach, is replaced, and that there is a foreboding air that we are not wanted in the boathouse anymore.

None of us can express accurately the heated emotions we feel about these current and devastating changes. As students we were hosed. As oarsmen we were shafted, realizing that we would not have the opportunity to live up to our potential under the current crew administration. I don't feel any bitterness toward the new lightweight coach. It is not his fault and he has tried to make the transition period easy for us. Unfortunately, there are few left now to make a transition with.

John Fletcher
Former Captain

1975 Season

The 1975 season was not as successful as the previous year. Five members from the 1974 crew remained on the team and were supplemented by three new rowers. Alex Fey, Bob Latina, Jay Leffingwell, Fred Mayfield and Bob Rogen came back for one more year of rowing. Three new teammates, Jim Nielson, Jeff Spoden and Brian Stephens, rounded out the team to form an eight. However, the 1975 season was not as successful as the 1974 season with far fewer wins.

1975 Long Beach Lightweight Rowing Team

Individual Accomplishments After 1974

Several members of the championship 1974 season continued participating in rowing at several levels and have experienced success.

1975 San Diego Crew Classic

Gold Medal: Lightweight Men's Four
Rod Johnson
Scott Roop
John Fletcher
Peter Mallory

1976 Olympics

7th Place: Women's Quad
Coxswain: Irene Moreno

Lightweight 4 Before Practice

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