Varsity Eight Wins Both Races in SoCal Challenge

April 10, 2010

UCLA hosted its first SoCal Challenge women's rowing regatta Saturday at La Ballona Creek in Marina del Rey and teams from USC, Notre Dame and Clemson were guests at the event, which seeks to become an annual tradition.

The Bruins' Varsity Eight won both its races, an important step to NCAA Championship selection later in the year. The Bruins' three other boats -- Second Varsity Eight, Varsity Four and Novice Eight -- split their races against Clemson and Notre Dame in the morning and afternoon sessions, respectively.

Eighth-ranked USC won all of its races in the morning session against crews from Notre Dame. In the afternoon races, Clemson defeated USC in four races.

Overall, Clemson won seven of nine races on the day. UCLA and USC were 5-4 and Notre Dame lost each of its eight races.

All four UCLA boats were victorious in the afternoon session. In the Novice Eight race, the Bruins jumped out to an early lead and steadily increased it over the 2,000 meters. They won by more than a length.

In the Varsity Four competition, both UCLA and Notre Dame had motivation to win after falling in the morning session. The race remained fairly close through 1,000 meters until the Bruins pulled away. UCLA finally won by more than a length.

The Bruins gained control early in the Second Varsity Eight race and built another lead winning by more than 12 seconds.

In the Varsity Eight race, the Bruins took control early and were ahead by a length after the halfway point. UCLA was in open water at the 1,250-meter mark. They won by nearly 10 seconds in this race.

Although the Bruins lost three of four races in the morning session, their Varsity Eight victory against Clemson, which was ranked 12th entering the race, was an important upset. UCLA held a length lead at the halfway point and at the 1,250-meter mark. However, the Bruins were mindful of the Tigers' come-from-behind victory a few weeks prior at the San Diego Crew Classic. In that race Clemson staged a furious comeback to beat Ohio State with 200 meters remaining. On Saturday, the Bruins held off a similar challenge and won by two seconds.

Clemson avenged the upset with victories in the Second Varsity Eight, the First Varsity Four and the First Novice Eight races against the Bruins. The Tigers also won a three-way race against the Bruins and Trojans in the Second Varsity Four.

Of those losses, the Second Varsity Eight race was the closest. The Bruins held a close lead of a few seats after the first several hundred meters and were ahead at the halfway point as well. Clemson began gaining through the middle of the race and by the 1500 meter mark had closed the gap. At the finish, the race was too close to call from the top of the Boathouse before it was announced that the Tigers had won.

USC swept its four races against Notre Dame, the most convincing coming in the Varsity Eight race where the Trojans won by one-and-half lengths. The Trojans led from the start and never looked back, gradually increasing their lead throughout the race.

SoCal Challenge Results
Apr. 10, 2010
at La Ballona Creek, Marina del Rey, Calif.

Morning Session
First Varsity Eight

1. USC, 6:40.64; 2. Notre Dame, 6:52.07

1. UCLA (Stroke: Lauren Counter; 7. Rachel LaBella; 6. Alexandra Bolt; 5. Lynn Hancock; 4. Britta Syverson; 3. Hilary Caldwell; 2. Kristin Fitzmorris; Bow: Anastasia Alexandra; Cox: Alaizah Koorji), 6:53.10;2. Clemson, 7:06.49

Second Varsity Eight
1. USC, 6:59.30; 2. Notre Dame, 7:11.83

1. Clemson, 6:50.90;
2. UCLA (Stroke: Taylor Vella, 7. Carolina Curson, 6. Katherine Hruska; 5. Alexa Farafontoff; 4. Kaitlin Doering; 3. Erica Lockhard; 2. Kristin Snook; Bow: Christina Sprouse; Cox: Ariel Handler), 6:52.49.

Varsity Four
1. USC, 7:52.47; 2. Notre Dame, 7:56.90

1. Clemson, 7:40.30;2. UCLA (Stroke: Jessica McGuire; 3. Anne Schier; 2. Alexis McPhee; Bow: Lindsay Pollock; Cox: Mia Hamano), 7:41.46

Novice Eight
1. USC, 7:14.64; 2. Notre Dame, 7:20.36

1. Clemson, 7:08.90;
2. UCLA (Stroke: Natasha Weidemann; 7. Jasmine Conrad; 6. Tamar Schaap; 5. Mariko Snyder; 4. Emily McLaughlin; 3. Jennifer Monacelli; 2. Kayla Cox; Bow: Monica Havancik; Cox: Alex McEnroe), 7:09.34.

Second Varsity Four
1. Clemson, 7:50.76; 2. USC, 7:57.82; 3. UCLA (Stroke: Nadia Basillo; 3. Laurel Hyatt-Miller; 2.Anoush Khojikian, Bow: Megan Danly; Cox: Lisa Erlanger), 8:08.55.

Afternoon Session
Novice 8

1. UCLA (Stroke: Natasha Weidemann; 7. Jasmine Conrad; 6. Tamar Schaap; 5. Mariko Snyder; 4. Emily McLaughlin; 3. Jennifer Monacelli; 2. Kayla Cox; Bow: Monica Havancik; Cox: Alex McEnroe), 8:02.70;
2. Notre Dame, 8:12.67

1. Clemson, 8:06.80; 2. USC. 8:12.92.

Varsity 4
1. UCLA (Stroke: Jessica McGuire; 3. Anne Schier; 2. Alexis McPhee; Bow: Lindsay Pollock; Cox: Mia Hamano), 8:44.90;
2. Notre Dame, 8:53.03.

1. Clemson, 8:36.95; 2. USC, 8:52.48.

Second Varsity Eight
1. UCLA (Stroke: Taylor Vella, 7. Carolina Curson, 6. Katherine Hruska; 5. Alexa Farafontoff; 4. Kaitlin Doering; 3. Erica Lockhard; 2. Kristin Snook; Bow: Christina Sprouse; Cox: Ariel Handler), 7:40.05;
2. Notre Dame, 7:53.21.

1. Clemson, 7:35.43; 2. USC, 7:39.99.

First Varsity Eight
1. UCLA, (Stroke: Lauren Counter; 7. Rachel LaBella; 6. Alexandra Bolt; 5. Lynn Hancock; 4. Britta Syverson; 3. Hilary Caldwell; 2. Kristin Fitzmorris; Bow: Anastasia Alexandra; Cox: Alaizah Koorji), 7:26.30;
2. Notre Dame, 7:36.33.

1. USC, 7:17.38; 2. Clemson 7:27.19.

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