Trojans Travel To 2003 Pac-10 Championships
This Week -- The USC women's rowing team travels to Sacramento, Calif., this week for the 2003 Pacific-10 Conference Rowing Championships, to be held Sunday, May 18, on Lake Natoma. The heats are scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. and the grand final races will take place starting at 12:40 p.m. USC will also have a Novice Four boat racing in the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships on Saturday, May 17 (USC will not race a Novice Eight). Live scoring for the event will be available on rowing page of the Pac-10 website at www.pac-10.org.
The 2003 Pac-10 Champion will be determined by the order of finish of the crews in the Varsity Eight, JV Eight, Novice Eight and Varsity Four events.
Race Seeds -- The top-10 seedings for the varsity eight championship races are as follows: Washington (1st), California (2nd), Stanford (3rd), USC (4th), Washington State (5th), Oregon State (6th), UCLA (7th), Loyola Marymount (8th), Sacramento State (9th) and UC Davis (10th).
Last Year At the Pac-10 Championships -- USC's Varsity Eight entered last year's Pac-10 championship with a No. 2 seed, but the Women of Troy were forced to endure harsh conditions to finish in fifth place. The final races of the day were all held under torrential rain showers, including the Varsity Eight grand final which was scheduled second to last. After finishing first in the qualifying heat (16-seconds in front of second-place Oregon State), the Women of Troy found themselves nearly 15-seconds behind champion Washington as they crossed the finish line. USC's JV Eight, despite not qualifying for the grand final, finished seventh overall by crossing the finish line first in the petite final. The Trojans completed the course in 7:30.90. In similar fashion, the Varsity Four crew finished first in the Petite Final and seventh overall in a time of 8:21.60. The Novice Eight squad was also unable to advance to the grand final. The team finished third in its final race (8:06.40) and ninth overall.
Looking Towards The 2003 NCAAs -- The seventh annual NCAA Women's Rowing Championships will be held at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Ind. The events will take place Friday, May 30, through Sunday, June 1. Washington, last year's runner-up to national champion Brown, is the only team from the Pac-10 to ever win the national title (1997, 1998, 2001). The Trojans' Varsity Eight boat is looking for its fifth-consecutive bid to the championships, while USC has yet to receive a team bid since the NCAA began sponsoring the event in 1998.
Last Year At NCAA Championships -- USC's Varsity Eight boat placed second in the Petite Final for an eighth-place overall finish at the 2002 NCAA Championships at Eagle Creek Resevoir in Indianapolis, Ind. While Washington won the Varsity Eight individual event, Brown captured the overall team title. In the Varsity Eight Petite Final, to determine places seven through 12, Yale crossed the line first in a time of 6:39.99. USC followed with a time of 6:43.71and Michigan finished in 6:44.31 for third place.
USC History at NCAA Championships -- Since the USC women's rowing program began offering scholarships in 1994, the Trojans have made five consecutive appearances at the NCAA Championships - 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002. Most notably, USC captured the Women's Varsity Four national title in 1998 by defeating eventual 1999 champion Brown.
Babraj's In Their First Year At USC -- This season marks the first for USC head rowing coaches Zenon and Kelly Babraj. With a long list of accomplishments at the international and national levels, Zenon Babraj serves as the program director and co-head coach with Kelly. The pair took over in June, 2002, as only the second coaching staff in the history of the women's rowing program. The Babraj's hired Craig Webster, a former head coach at UCLA with over seven years of collegiate coaching experience, to direct the novice.