The Marina Aquatic Center junior women’s rowing team racked up several titles at the California Cup Challenge in Long Beach Saturday, March 15th.

The Marina del Rey-based team captured gold medals in the Varsity 8, Junior Varsity 8, Third Varsity 8, Lightweight 8, Lightweight 4, Junior Varsity Quad and Novice Quad events at the regatta.

The team’s dominating performance over the five other Southern California junior rowing programs solidifies Marina Aquatic Center as the favorite in the southern region heading into the California junior championships next month, coaches said.

“I was very proud of how hard the kids battled,” Marina Aquatic Center team head coach Zohar Abramovitz said. “They’ve got a lot of confidence right now and I’m starting to see a little bit of the swagger that you see in crews that expect to win.

“But we’ve still got a lot of work to do if we’re going to win medals at the state level in May, so we’re just going to enjoy this for a day or so and then get back down to business. We’ve got more speed left to find.”

On the men’s side at the California Cup Challenge, the Newport Aquatic Center added to its victories from the previous regatta in Long Beach last month.

The Marina Aquatic Center Varsity Women’s 8 captured an early lead and held it, finishing seven seconds ahead of the second-place finishers from Long Beach Junior Crew.

The MAC Varsity Women’s 8 team includes coxswain Tess Hartigan, Celeste Wise in stroke position, Anna Rasmussen, Katie O’Hanlon, Ariana Chehrazi, Gaby Zarate-de Macedo, Lindsay Pollock, Sarah Thompson and Amber Heron, in the bow.

On the men’s side, the Marina Aquatic Center Lightweight 4 continued a nearly two-year undefeated streak that included the 2007 Jr. National championship, despite only returning one of the rowers and the coxswain from that crew. The Lightweight Men’s 4 team includes coxswain Hannah Shaw, Henry Perazzelli in stroke position, Xavier Keyser, Adrian Wieshofer and Aki Edgerton, in bow.

The 80-member club is next scheduled to compete in the San Diego Crew Classic on Mission Bay.