Sports Lounge.eps

If you’re looking for the dragon boat races Sunday in Foster City, just follow the drum beat.

The 12th annual Bay Area Dragon Boat Novice Race will fill the Foster City Lagoon with hundreds of rowers in the water and spectators along the banks as the Bay Area Dragons, the club sponsoring the event, try to drum up funds for Alzheimer’s research.

Dragon boats racing is similar to the sport of crew, but instead of pulling on oars like in a rowboat as is done in crew, dragon boat racers use paddles and stroke like a canoe. A boat is comprised of 22 participants — 20 paddlers, the drummer — who sets the pace — and a steerer in the rear, to keep the boat going straight down the course.

Many of the 36 participating teams are comprised of company-sponsored teams, like Genentech, Facebook and Uber, but there are also private entries like Ralston Middle School, Foster City Parents Club and Boy Scout Troop 47 Foster City.

Most of the participants have never paddled a dragon boat previously, so teams are given two practice sessions to get a feel for the sport before they go head-to-head on the lagoon.

The races begin at 9 a.m. and will be run every 15 minutes until 4 p.m. Food trucks and lunch-hour entertainment will also be on display.

While the event is used as a fundraiser, it’s also a way to introduce newcomers to the sport, as well as promoting healthy lifestyle, Bay Area Dragons also use it as a recruiting tool to find paddlers for their competitive teams that travel around the country and world.

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The Bowditch Middle School girls’ soccer team went 11-0-1 in capturing their fifth-straight unbeaten championship for the San Mateo school.

During their five-year run, Bowditch has compiled a record of 58-0-2.

Bowditch outscored the opposition 34-2 and capped the season with a 5-1 win over Abbott Middle School in the championship game.

The team is comprised of Ryann Abad, Lily Bernard, Akshita Bisht, Maddie Cummins, Lauren Davies, Dylan Domingo, Taylor Hardman, Naia Hsieh, Kayli Fong, Keren Kreindler, Rhiana Gardon, Sofie Knox, Hope Loy, Natalie Masarova, Sammy Pera, Ren delos Reyes, Evelyn Su, Victoria “Vic” Tapper and Enya Yuan.

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Menlo-Atherton announced this week the hiring of Lauren Lesyna as the school’s varsity girls’ water polo coach. Lesyna will also teach biology at the school.

She replaces Travis Wycoff, who served as head coach the last two seasons.

She becomes the fourth new hire for the M-A athletic department, joining new football coach Steve Papin and new girls’ basketball coach Steve Yob. David Trujillo, who was named interim manager with one week left in the regular season, had the “interim” tag removed and hired as the full-time manager last month.

Lesyna is a 2013 graduate of Gunn High School in Palo Alto, where she was an all-CCS player throughout her four-year varsity career. She spent two seasons playing at Foothill College in Los Altos, helping the Owls to a fourth-place finish at the state championship tournament. She transferred to U.C. Davis and helped the Aggies to the 2017 National Collegiate Club Championship.

She started her coaching career at her at her alma mater, where she was the junior varsity head coach and assistant varsity coach. She has also spent the last four seasons coaching for Stanford Water Polo Club.

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Serra is looking for a varsity boys’ water polo coach for the 2019 season. Matt Jones guided the Padres last season as he took over for former longtime program head Bob Greene.

For more information, contact Serra athletic director Justin Ferdinand at jferdinand@serrahs.com.

The ironic thing is, the best candidate is sitting in the Serra AD office. Ferdinand turned a moribund Half Moon Bay program into a Central Coast Section qualifier during his five years with the Cougars before taking the athletic director position with the Padres prior to the start of the 2018-19 school year.

Nathan Mollat can be reached by email: nathan@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: 344-5200 ext. 117.

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