Trojan Coaches and Rowers Receive Post Season CRCA Honors

May 22, 2007

The College Rowing Coaches Association awarded regional post-season honors this week, with several Trojans selected to the 2007 CRCA All-West Region Team.

As the nation's top-ranked team in the latest USRowing/CRCA poll, USC placed a total of five rowers on the first and second teams in the West Region. Four of the Trojan selections were to the first-team, including the coxswain and one second team selection.

Junior port Ligita Kaviere is making her third appearance amongst west region rowing elite, the second year in a row as a first team selection. She was selected to the second team as a freshman in 2005. Rowing from the No. 6 seat on a varsity eight boat that has won all of its races, Kaviere has also been a steady influence on the crew as one of the captains this season.

Kaviere is joined on the first team by sophomore starboard Magda Madziewicz, and freshman stroke Gabriela Varekova. Redshirt junior Lauren Cowan was named as coxswain for the first team. Also receiving postseason honors for the first time, junior starboard Dunja Pejcic was named to the CRCA All West Region Second Team. The four first team selections are now eligible for national honors.

The awards recognize the outstanding performance of rowers and coxswains from each of the five Division I regions during the current season. The nomination criteria include meeting eligibility rules as defined by her institution, participating in at least 75% of the season's races in the varsity boat, and the student-athlete's head coach must be a member in good standing of the CRCA. A maximum of four athletes plus one coxswain per institution may be nominated.

Five Trojans were also honored by the CRCA as West Region Scholar Athletes. Sophomore port Robin Hextrum (3.78 GPA, Neuroscience & Fine Arts), senior starboard Kinga Marciszewska (3.71, Business Administration & Accounting), sophomore starboard Julia McIlvaine (3.59, History), sophomore starboard Cassie Richardson (3.94, Linguistics and Psychology & Broadcast Journalism), and sophomore port Claire Tenscher (3.53, Creative Writing). The five selections eclipse the previous USC all-time total of one (Melissa Zimel, 2002).

Director of rowing and co-head coach Zenon Babraj was named west region coach of the year along with co-head coach Kelly Babraj. This is the first such selection for the husband and wife coaching tandem. Individually, Zenon Babraj was named Pac-10 Men's Coach of the Year three times from 1987-1989 as the men's rowing coach at UCLA. Kelly Babraj was named the Pac-10 Women's Coach of the Year from 1989-1991 while coaching the UCLA women's rowing team.

2007 CRCA All-West Region First Team
Name University
Kelly Steinhaus Gonzaga University
Kaylie Towne Oregon State University
Elle Logan Stanford University
Kerry Birk Stanford University
Mara Allen University of California, Berkeley
Megan Smith University of California, Berkeley
Vanessa Teff University of California, Los Angeles
Lauren Cowan (Coxswain) University of Southern California
Magda Madziewicz University of Southern California
Gabriela Varekova University of Southern California
Ligita Kaviere University of Southern California
Cara Troelstra University of Washington
Sara Waterfield Washington State University
2007 CRCA All-West Region Second Team
Name University
Caroline Leibinger Oregon State University
Janine Lacrosse Sacramento State University
Jessi Reel Stanford University
Lauren Hofmayer Stanford University
Jennifer Brown (Coxswain) Stanford University
Taryn O'Connell University of California, Berkeley
Lynn Hancock University of California, Los Angeles
Jacquelyn Harris University of San Diego
Dunja Pejcic University of Southern California
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