Adrienne Smith | Credit: Courtesy

Hundreds of Santa Barbara’s female athletes descended upon Earl Warren Showgrounds for the Santa Barbara Athletic Roundtable’s annual Women in Sports Luncheon on Monday.

The keynote speaker, Adrienne Smith, recounted her harrowing journey rowing across the Pacific Ocean in a small boat in just 34 days, which broke the previous world record for an all-female four-person crew by more than a day.

“No matter how brave I am, the greatest choice I can ever make is to trust. To trust in myself and to trust the other women,” said Smith of her primary realization from the journey she took from San Francisco to Honolulu.

The previous world record was 35 days and 14 hours, and the record before that was 50 days. The physical, mental, and emotional challenges that Smith overcame to break the world record had a clear impact on the auditorium composed primarily of standout female athletes. 

“It took me rowing across an ocean to realize I wasn’t listening and I needed to start, and that’s completely changed me as a human,” Smith said. “I’m listening to my inner voice; I’m listening to the rise of emotions in my body. I’m listening to my needs, my wants, my desires, my dreams, and I’m paddling in my own way.”

Smith encouraged the athletes in the room to embrace the challenge of “what’s next” and facing the unknown. To turn inward and trust themselves.

“We’re all here today because we love sports, and some of you will continue that love in college and beyond and some of you won’t,” Smith said. “Whether the future includes sports or not, facing the unknown takes bravery and trust.”

The event ended with an exercise in which everyone closed their eyes, remained present, and visualized where they wanted to go next. Each person wrote down what was next, figured out one action they could take toward that action, and shared with a partner.

Athletes of the Week 

Pepper Marks of Santa Barbara High won her second consecutive CIF-SS individual title. She pinned all of her opponents on her way to the championship and was named the tournament’s outstanding upper-weight wrestler. 

Pepper Marks, Santa Barbara High wrestling

Marcus Scudder of Cate boys’ basketball scored 17 and 16 points in wins over Northview and Santa Ana, respectively. He also held Santa Ana’s leading scorer to three points in the second half of a 60-56 road-win that sent the Rams to the quarterfinals.


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