Rowing Preps For 29th Annual San Diego Crew Classic

April 2, 2002

Los Angeles, Calif. - The USC women's rowing team travels to San Diego this week, April 6-7, to defend its title at the 29th Annual San Diego Crew Classic held at Mission Bay. The Women of Troy's Varsity Eight boat captured the Jessop Whittier Cup in 2001.

The two-day event on Saturday and Sunday will showcase over 3,000 athletes ranging from juniors to masters to Olympians. The San Diego Crew Classic is the largest multi-laned regatta for Eights in the United States.

Fifty-three events are scheduled on Saturday (April 6) to start the regatta. The first event begins at 7 a.m. and the last race is scheduled for 4:50 p.m. The Trojans are scheduled to compete in the women's Varsity Eight, JV Eight and Novice Eight. The preliminary heats will take place at 8:30 a.m., 10:20 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., respectively.

Sunday (April 7) will feature the Petite and Grand Finals for each of the races. The top qualifiers from Saturday's competition will compete in the Grand Finals, while the second selection of top times will compete in the Petite Finals. Sunday's events begin at 7:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:00 p.m.

Last Week:
The Trojans are coming off a 5-2 victory over UCLA last Saturday, March 30, in the first-ever dual race between these two rival schools. The Women of Troy won the Varsity Eight and JV Eight races to capture the victory.

USC and UCLA each raced a Varsity Eight, JV Eight, Varsity Four and Novice Eight boat and the race winner was determined by a point system similar to the one used at the Pac-10 Championships. Three points was awarded to the Varsity Eight winner, two to the JV Eight and one apiece to the winners of the Varsity Fours and Novice Eights.

The Bruins started by winning the first two races of the morning - the Varsity Four and Novice Eight - to capture the first two points. But USC waited patiently for its two strongest races in which the Women of Troy won decisively.

USC's JV8 crossed the finish line nearly two boat lengths ahead of UCLA with a time of 7:11.7. The Bruins finished in 7:25.6. In the final race, the Trojans' Varsity Eight left no room for error, pulling ahead quickly in the first 1,000 meters. USC completed the course 35-seconds ahead (6:36.0) of UCLA (7:11.9).

Last Season at the Crew Classic:
In one of the biggest upsets in the 28-year history of the Classic, USC edged nine-time defending champion Washington to win the prestigious 2001 Jessop Whittier Cup women's Varsity Eight title. The Women of Troy nipped the Huskies by a seat length giving Washington its first loss in the event since 1991.

USC rowed against the shore in lane one, while the Huskies set out in lane two and Virginia on the other side in lane three. Overcoming a difficult four-second deficit in the second 500 meters, the Trojans made their move in the third 500 leg of the course as the two boats entered neck-and-neck. The crews went stroke-for-stroke, trading the lead down to the wire before USC made the final push in the final 100 meters. The Trojans finished the 2,000-meter course in 6:52.1. Washington finished in 6:53.03.

That same day also proved extremely successful for USC's JV eight boat. In the grand final, the Women of Troy finished fourth despite drawing lane six and battling through rough waters. But the crew's performance came a day after the Trojans were forced to fight the hardest battle just to secure its spot in the divisional final. In the qualifying heat on Saturday, USC's boat began taking on water from high swells in the second half of the 2,000-meter course. By the time the team reached the finish line the rowers were up to their waist in water and rescue efforts had began. The Trojans still managed to qualify for the Grand Final.

This Week:
29th Annual San Diego Crew Classic
Date: Saturday and Sunday, April 6 & 7, 2002
Location: San Diego, Calif. (Crown Point Shore on Mission Bay)

San Diego Crew Classic
1218 El Carmel Place
San Diego, CA 92109

Directions From Los Angeles:
Take the I-5 South. Exit Route 5 at the Balboa and Garnet exit. Go right (west) on Garnet Street to a 'Y' junction and stay left on Balboa. Immediately after Balboa merges with Grand Avenue, turn left onto Lamont Street. Go straight (south) on Lamont approximately 8 blocks and cross Crown Point Drive at the 'Yield' sign. Trailer parking is down the hill to the first left and car parking is down the hill to the left further on.

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