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MISSION TINAJIN: DRAGON BOAT

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By Robert Balajadia

The men and women of the national dragon boat hopefuls have been hitting the waters of Matapang Beach in preparation for the 2013 VI East Asian Games that take place in Tianjin, China.  Head coach Ron Ruiz has the team hitting the waters at least five times a week in preparations for October.  The the team will be participating in two separate categories although they do practice together.

2000px-Tianjin2013.svgTeams Participating:

  • China
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Guam
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • North Korea
  • South Korea
  • Macau
  • Mongolia
Coach Ron Ruiz giving the team proper stroking instructions. (GSPN photo)

Coach Ron Ruiz giving the team proper stroking instructions. (GSPN photo)

“Most of these guys are transitioning from paddling to dragon boating.  Some of the women have been paddling for two-and-a-half years already.  Dragon boating is seasonal and the international races are done in summertime.  This is still a fairly new sport.  The only issue we have is with the tide, it dictates how we can practice.” stated Ruiz on the state of participation and level of competition.

With the sport being fairly new, fellow dragon boaters will look towards veterans like Deuce Romes, who is an experienced paddler in the sport having competed the previous International competitions.

“I’m just trying to get the attendance up and make sure everyones gets to practice at least two times a week.  Guam always makes the championship and we win several medals in many events so, team Guam represents!  We need to practice more just to get the timing down,” stated Romes.

The Dragon Boat team going through one of their sprint exercises. (GSPN photo)

The Dragon Boat team going through one of their stroke exercises. (GSPN photo)

Coach Ruiz walks across the shoreline while the dragon boaters do routine exercises, but Ruiz makes sure he still verbally pushes his team.  Paddler Sabrina Rivo credits coach for pushing them as hard as he does, believing it will help them in the long run.

“I think we’re going to do really well out there because coach Ron really pushes us.  Me and my mom [Sheila Compton-Rivo] have been on this team before for the longest time and we’ve never done these types of drills before,” stated Rivo.

The veterans of the boat are learning new things under coach Ruiz, who blends the same type of exercises normal paddlers do.  The team has been successful in the previous games but know they are going to have to put in extra work in order to dethrone China, the champions.

 

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

http://www.akguam.com/ou/tamuning-scion/

The first portion of practice, get the boat in the water! (GSPN photo)

The first portion of practice, get the boat in the water! (GSPN photo)

Boaters doing exercises to get the heart rate up. (GSPN photo)

Boaters doing exercises to get the heart rate up. (GSPN photo)

Boaters empt the excess water in the boat to even the weight. (GSPN photo)

Boaters empty the excess water in the boat to even the weight. (GSPN photo)

Each spot on the boat holds a different responsibility, as the team strategizes on who should be where. (GSPN photo)

Each spot on the boat holds a different responsibility, as the team strategizes on who should be where. (GSPN photo)

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QUICK HITS

Sisters CiMara-Lei (10th) and CiHara-Lei (9th) Wessling both made the Academic All-District Team playing for Veterans Memorial High softball team in Converse, TX.
They are the daughters of former star quarterback and pitcher Chris ‘Cool Breeze’ Wessling and wife Missy.
CiMara-Lei was also named the league’s Newcomer of the Year after the family moved from Dallas to San Antonio.
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Austia Mendiola made it to the California state pairs finals in collegiate beach volleyball before losing to Monterey Peninsula.
Playing for San Diego Mesa College, Mendiola and her partner made it to the finals out of 32 top women’s college teams in the state.

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