No. 1 Women's Rowing Claims Top Seed Amongst Strong Championship Field

May 9, 2007

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The No. 1 Women of Troy will row in the 21st annual Pacific-10 Conference Rowing Championships on Sunday at Lake Natoma in Sacramento, Calif. With six teams ranked in the latest CRCA/US Rowing Division I Varsity Eight poll, the Trojans face their toughest test of the season. Live streaming will be available on the Pac-10 website at (click on 'Rowing'). Live scoring and times will also be available at

The Trojan Varsity Four will race at 8:10 a.m. in the second heat of the varsity four races as the third seed and take on second seeded Washington, sixth seeded Oregon State, and seventh seeded UCLA.

As the eight seed, the USC Novice Eight will race out of lane four at 8:40 a.m. in the first of two novice heats and match up against UCLA, Oregon State, California, Sacramento State, and Sonoma State.

At 9:10 a.m., the third seeded JV Eight will put their oars to the test against second seeded California, Washington State, Stanford, Sacramento State, and San Diego State.

The Varsity Eight takes the water at 9:20 a.m. as the No. 1 seed and will race in lane one against fourth seeded UCLA, Washington, Washington State, UC Davis and Saint Mary's University.

Boats must finish in the top three of their heat to qualify for the grand final. The rest of the field will race in the afternoon in petite finals. The varsity four grand final is at 2:10 p.m.; 3 p.m. for the novice eight; 3:20 p.m. for the second varsity eights and 4 p.m. for the varsity eights. The awards ceremony and announcement of the all-conference teams will immediately follow the final race of the day.

The Trojans have never won a team championship at the Pac-10 Rowing Championships in fourteen appearances. Only the USC Varsity Eight raced from 1988-1991 and in 1997. In 1998, the first year that the Trojans would bring their entire team to the championships, the Varsity Four would capture the Pac-10 Varsity Four Championship by defeating the grand final field by more than five seconds.

Event champions are determined based on the top finish in the grand final. However, the team champion is determined through a point system. Full seedings, schedules and an explanation of the scoring system used for the championships can be found at the official Pac-10 website.

Admission to the 2007 Pacific-10 Conference Rowing Championships is $5 per person. Parking for the event is $7 per day and a free parking lot with shuttle service is also available. For more information about Lake Natoma and/or the event facility, please visit the Sacramento State University Aquatic Center website at

2006 Pac-10 Rowing Championships
The Trojans finished fourth in overall standings as a team at the 2006 Pac-10 Championships with 51 points. Stanford also had 51 points as a team but took fifth place overall by virtue of a better USC varsity eight finish.

The Varsity Eight finished in third in 2006 by only 0.40 seconds and was only 1.40 seconds from finishing tied for first. California would win the varsity eight race and eventually, the Pac-10 crown in women's rowing. The Trojan JV Eight would qualify for their grand final but finished in sixth overall. The USC Novice Eight would finish in ninth place overall after failing to make the grand final in their event and the Varsity Four would barely miss the cutoff for their grand final event, but redeemed themselves by taking care of business in their petite final for a seventh place overall finish.

For more information on rowing events and results from around the country, please visit

Probable USC boatings for 2007 Pac-10 Conference Rowing Championships

  1st Varsity Eight JV Eight Varsity Four Novice Eight
Coxswain Lauren Cowan Lisa Sabalvaro Denise Kobashikawa Catherine Humenuk
No. 8 (Stroke) Gabriela Varekova Anna Specjalska Laura McDaniel Michelle Taft
No. 7 Magda Madziewicz Nana Gagatsovi Shelley Koskovich Lisa Greenwood
No. 6 Ligita Kaviere Anna Efremova Ewelina Nowak Emma Ongaro
No. 5 Dunja Pejcic Bara Varekova Cassie Richardson Annie Smythe
No. 4 Tatiana Boldyreva Phebe Greenwood   Blair Bartlett
No. 3 Liene Bertasjus Kinga Marciszewska   Gigi Terril
No. 2 Robin Hextrum Carin Andersson Leah Pace
No. 1 (Bow) Diana Ivanova Jessica Smith   Kacey Maher

In The Polls
The Trojans opened the 2007 season ranked No. 10 nationally in the CRCA/USRowing poll. After defeating the Loyola-Marymount Lions in a dual race, the crew quickly jumped two spots to No. 8. A successful weekend at the 2007 San Diego Crew Classic boosted the Trojans to No. 2, a then highest CRCA/USRowing national ranking in program history. Not letting up in a cross-country trip to Boston, Mass. for the Charles River Challenge, victories garnered 19 first place votes from the coaches, giving the Women of Troy enough points to jump Brown for the top spot. Since achieving their No. 1 ranking, the Trojans have not relinquished their hold on it, staying atop the charts for a school-record four straight weeks. Now holding 21 of the 25 first place votes, this is the highest ranking the Trojans have received since Zenon and Kelly Babraj took over the program in 2002 and the highest ever for the Trojans in the CRCA/USRowing poll.

Maxed Out
The May 8 cMax rankings have the Trojans listed at No. 1 with a 1.2 second advantage on Brown. Yale is third 1.4 seconds behind the Trojans with Notre Dame and Ohio State at 5.1 and 5.4 seconds behind respectively. The rankings measure collegiate women's varsity eight boats using a specially developed formula. For more information, visit

On The Road Again
With only one home race on the 2007 schedule, it seems as though the Trojans are constantly on the road. However, winning all of their races comfortably so far leaves the Women of Troy without a complaint.

Up Next
A strong showing at the Pac-10 Championships this weekend could land the Trojans in the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships held at Melton Lake near Oak Ridge, Tenn. on May 25-27.

Sister, Sister
Two sets of sisters race for the Women of Troy this season: the Varekova's and the Greenwood's. Junior starboard Bara Varekova returns to the Trojans after sitting out 2006. She is joined by her younger sister, freshman Gabriela Varekova. Hailing from the Czech Republic, the Varekova's bring a wealth of experience having won numerous individual championships. Junior Phebe Greenwood is joined by her younger sister on the squad. Lisa Greenwood is a freshman. The Greenwood's came to USC from the Groton School in Groton, Mass. each carrying on the pedigree of a family of athletes.

Sibling Rivalry
Sophomore port Robin Hextrum is known amongst her crewmates as a competitor. However, she has extra incentive when racing against the two-time defending Pac-10 and national champion California Bears. Older sister Kirsten Hextrum is a senior rower for the Cal women's crew. While the Trojans have seen Cal on more than one occasion this season, the Stinson Beach native also got to race against her twin sister Shannon's current school, Dartmouth when the Women of Troy went to Boston, Mass. for the Charles River Challenge.

The United Nations
The 2007 Women of Troy are truly an assortment of international flavors. Not including the United States, crew members hail from eight different countries including Bulgaria, Czech Republic, England, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Serbia, and Sweden.

Chip Off the Old Block
Senior starboard and co-captain Jessica Smith is the eldest daughter of former Los Angeles Ram and six time Pro Bowl (1984-1989) offensive guard, Doug Smith.

All the World is a Stage
Sophomore starboard Julia McIlvaine just completed a run in the USC Independent Student Production (ISP) of The Myth or Waltzing Matilda in the role of Matilda at the Massman Theater.

O Captains, My Captains
Senior Jessica Smith and junior Ligita Kaviere will serve as team co-captains in 2007. Smith has rowed from several positions over her three year career as a Trojan, earning a Pac-10 All-Academic Honorable Mention in 2006. Kaviere earned 2005 CRCA All-West Region Team honors as a freshman rower and returned even stronger for her sophomore season, earning the same honor in 2006, adding an All Pac-10 Team selection and CRCA Pocock All-America First Team honor to her list of growing accolades.

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