USC Finishes Fourth at Pac-10 Championships

May 14, 2006

The USC women's rowing team finished fourth as a team at the 2006 Pacific 10 conference Championships on Sunday, May 14, held on Lake Natoma. The third-ranked Varsity Eight boat placed third in their race, falling to the defending national champions, California and eighth-ranked Washington State. The top three boats came across the line within a second of each other, making for a tight race through out the 2,000 meter course.

'We have a very young crew that was under a lot of pressure,' said USC head coach Kelly Babraj. 'We lack a lot of depth right now. We had a down year in recruiting the year we came in to the program and it is really showing up right now.'

The Varsity Eight came off the line just inches behind the second-ranked Golden Bears and held on to second place until the Cougars over took them with 500 meters left in the race. The Trojans fought to stay with them but could not overtake Washington State, crossing the line just .4 seconds behind them.

'This just shows you that anything can happen on race day,' said Babraj. 'Unfortunately we are at a disadvantage since our girls just finished finals this week. The other teams don't have their girls up all night studying. It is something we face every year for Pac-10's.'

The JV Eights came in sixth with a time of 6:54.70. They entered the event seeded sixth and were the only other USC team to reach the grand final other then the Varsity Eight. The Varsity Four team placed seventh after clocking a time of 7:53.1 to win the petite final, which determined places 7-12.

'We have a very young Varsity Four this year,' added Babraj. 'We had two novice girls competing in the boat. Some of the smaller schools realize that they are not going to win the big races so they put their top athletes in the smaller races like the Varsity Four, so it makes it harder for us to get our boats into the grand finals.'

Since four of the top novice girls were rowing in the Varsity Four and JV Eight boats, the Novice Eight was also spread thin. The Novice did well finishing in 7:16.8 and placing ninth overall.

Today's championship marks the end of the regular season for the Women of Troy. Since the advent of the NCAA Championships in 1997, holding the Pac-10 championships on the final weekend allows the NCAA selection committee to compare virtually all the West Coast (Pac-10 and non Pac-10) crews under comparable race conditions. With no time standard to meet, boats competing in the NCAA Women's Rowing Championship will be named by a selection committee on Tuesday, May 16.

Last year was the first year in USC history that the Trojans received a team bid to the NCAA championship, where all four boats compete for the team title.'I do not know if we will receive the team bid this year,' said Babraj. 'If we had placed third we might have had a better chance. There is just so many things going on in other regions you just never know what the selection committee will decided.'

The tenth annual NCAA Women's Rowing Championship will be held at Mercer Lake in West Windsor N.J. on May 26-28.

Results

Women's Varsity Eight1. CAL .................. 6:29.02. WSU  ..................6:29.93. USC  ..................6:30.34. WASH  ..............6:36.65. STAN  .............. 6:39.06. UCLA  .............. 6:43.87. OSU .................. 6:42.18. LMU ..................6:45.19. SAC ST  ...............6:46.010. GONZ  ..............  6:48.211. SDS  ..................   6:50.412. SMC  .................. 6:55.3Women's 2nd Varsity Eight1. CAL .................. 6:40.42. UCLA ..................6:42.43. WSU ..................6:44.94. WASH .............. 6:46.85. STAN ..................6:48.56. USC .................. 6:54.77. OSU .................. 6:58.38. SDSU ..................7:03.69. LMU ..................7:04.110. SAC ST.............7:06.9Women's Novice 81. GONZ .................. 6:48.12. WASH ................6:51.13. CAL ...................6:55.64. OSU ...................6:58.45. SAC ST ..............7:09.66. STAN ...................7:18.97. WSU ................... 6:54.08. UCD ...................7:15.29. USC ...................7:16.810. SON ...................7:19.011. UCLA ..............7:23.8Women's Varsity Four1. CAL ...................7:23.42. WSU ...................7:26.73. STAN ................ 7:28.74. WASH .................. 7:30.65. UCLA .................7:45.06. OSU ...................7:49.57. USC ...................7:53.18. LMU ...................8:08.69. SDSU ...................8:17.9
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