Chico State rowing offers opportunities for new students wanting to learn


Members of the Chico State Rowing Club get in some practice in at the Oroville Forebay. Photo courtesy of Patrick Moran

Noah Enns

College is a place where people tend to try new things. For the Chico State rowing club, this is the case for most of its members.

“Rowing is such an odd sport, I would have never had the opportunity to try it anywhere else,” said Patrick Moran, a second-year member of the club. “I just gave it a try and since then, I stuck with it and it’s been probably the most fun sport I have ever competed in.”

A majority of the members who join the rowing club are inexperienced. Many high schools throughout the state don’t offer rowing. Similar to redshirts in other sports, members that join the club are considered novices their first year. After the first year rowers can be considered varsity.

“I wanted to join to get physically stronger, but the reason I stuck around is all the mental strength I have gained from this,” said Connor Phillips, a second-year member of the club. “In rowing, the only way to get stronger is to step outside of your comfort zone. You can apply that to anywhere in your life.”

While all forming together to make a team, the rowing club is divided up into several sections: The distance of the races, men’s and women’s division and a two, four and eight-person races.

The rowing club has competitions during both fall and spring semesters. The fall semester does more long distance races, while spring focuses more on the shorter races.

Fall races are 5,000 meters long and take roughly 20 minutes to complete a race. In spring, the shorter races are 2,000 meters and take anywhere from five to eight minutes to complete.

In each boat, there are a few positions. The first is a coxswain, which is usually the lightest person on the team and they steer the boat. Other important positions on the boat include the stroke seat, who sets the rhythm for the team and the bow seat, who sets the balance for the boat.

Emily Eagen, a first-year coxswain for Chico State talked about how one of her favorite things about the team is the huge support system.

“It feels good to be apart of a team,” Eagen said. “The rowers are a second support system. Everybody is extremely nice. Everybody has been giving helpful feedback. It feels good to be apart of a team and have a common hobby with other students here at Chico. Chico is a very ‘outdoor kind of community’ and I enjoy telling people I’m part of the rowing team.”

It’s important for all members of the rowing team to be in sync which is why the coxswain is so crucial to the team’s success. Timing is crucial for a team to get out front and maintain the lead in competitions.

The rowing club practices all year and competes in three races this semester. The club practices at the Oroville Forebay.

The rowing club competes on April 7 in Eugene, Oregon, before concluding the spring semester with the biggest competition of the year, the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships in Sacramento on April 28 and 29.

For more information on the Chico State rowing club, visit their Facebook page.

Noah Enns can be reached at [email protected] or @NoahEnns21 on Twitter.