Women's Crew Hosts Portland LO/OP Regatta

Nov. 1, 2002

CORVALLIS, Ore. - -

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SCHEDULE: The Oregon State men's and women's crews open their fall seasons Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Portland Lake Oswego/Oaks Park course in Portland against the University of Washington. Racing begins at approximately 10 a.m.

HEAD COACH CHARLIE OWEN ON THE RACE: 'This will be our first race of the year, and we really haven't even spent that much time on the water yet. We've got a good team this year, but I don't think we're going as fast right now as we're capable of going.

'We've rowed Washington several times over the last few years, and we're going to do our best to continue to close the margin with them.'

2002 RECAP: The Beavers wrapped up the 2002 spring season by finishing third overall at the Pacific-10 Championships in May. After spending much of the year among the national top 20 rankings, the Beavers did not qualify for the NCAA Championships after doing so three of the previous five years. OSU's varsity eight was disappointed with its sixth-place finish at the conference championships, however, OSU's novice eight won its Grand Final. The JV eight and varsity four took second in their respective Grand Finals to help the team finish third with 52 points. Washington won the conference title with 66 points, and California was second with 58. OSU's Joy Jordan was named to the All-Pac-10 team as she capped off her career at OSU.

On the men's side, the Beavers rowed to their best finish ever at the IRA national championships in Camden, N.J. OSU's varsity eight finished fourth, while the JV eight was eighth overall, taking second in their Petite Final, and the freshmen took fourth in their Petite Final for a 10th-place finish.

THE COACHING STAFF: Charlie Owen first arrived at Oregon State University in the fall of 1986 as a student-athlete. He has been involved with the program ever since.

Owen rowed in the varsity lightweight eight and heavyweight men's eight before an injury cut his career short. However, he did enjoy a successful sculling career with an eventual position on the 1991 Pan American Team.

Owen's coaching career began in the fall of 1991 as the novice women's mentor. He coached the novice team for two years, with his teams placing second on the West Coast each season and all crews earning medals. At the same time, he coached a team at the Olympic Sports Festival.

Owen assumed the reigns as head women's coach in 1993, and the team has made great strides ever since. Of the six NCAA Rowing Championships, Owen's crews have competed in three, with the highest finish of seventh coming in 1997. The 2000 team also had a banner year with a third-place showing at the Pac-10 Conference meet; OSU also placed third in 1998.

Owen began rowing at the Salisbury School in 1984, and while there, competed at the West German Junior National Championships and in England at the Henley Royal Regatta.

Owen is a 1992 graduate of Oregon State with a bachelor's degree in Housing Studies, and is a U.S. Rowing Level III Coach.

Kushlani de Soyza, a former Northwestern University coxswain, joins OSU as the assistant varsity coach after serving two years as freshman coach at the University of Virginia, where her crew won the 2001 ACC Championship.

Previously, de Soyza coached at the Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club, where she worked for six years with veteran juniors coach Todd Jesdale.

At CJRC, de Soyza's eights won back-to-back national championships at the 1999 and 2000 USRowing Youth Invitational and finished second in both 1997 and 1998.

de Soyza's development camp crews won the Royal Canadian Henley Youth Eight from 1997-99, and again in 2001, and finished second in 2000.

In 1998, de Soyza was head coach at the USRowing Junior National Team Development Camp in Cincinnati and served as assistant at the 2001 camp in New London, Conn.

A graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, de Soyza worked as a newspaper reporter and copy editor before earning her teaching certificate at the University of Cincinnati. De Soyza also taught English at Cincinnati's Amelia High School, St. Ursula Academy, and St. Xavier High School.

de Soyza rowed at Northwestern from 1988-92, and is a candidate for a Master's degree in Education at the University of Cincinnati.

Erica Schwab joins the Oregon State coaching staff as the freshman coach after serving as the head women's crew coach at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., since 1998.

Prior to her head coaching tenure, Schwab spent two years as the novice women's crew coach at Trinity College.

Schwab rowed at the University of Washington from 1992-95, where she earned three letters and won medals at the Pacific-10 Conference Championships and Women's National Rowing Championships. Her rowing career also included an invitation to the U.S. pre-elite training camp in 1995, where she rowed at the National Training Center in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Erica has a Level III Coaching Certification and is a member of the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association.

After completing her eligibility in 1995, Erica took the varsity intern/assistant coach position at Washington, coaching the third and fourth varsity boats. She led the squad to an undefeated season in 1995-96.

At Trinity, Erica also served on the women's basketball coaching staff as a second assistant during the 1997-98 season.

Schwab graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and a minor in Geography from the University of Washington in 1996, and is a candidate for a Master's degree in American Studies at Trinity.

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