UCLA to Host Cross-Town Rival USC at Ballona Creek

May 5, 2003

Los Angeles - The UCLA women's rowing team hosts cross-town rival USC in the second annual dual meet between the two teams this Saturday, May 10, in Ballona Creek - Marina del Rey, Calif. The meet, originally scheduled to take place, Saturday, May 3, was postponed due to expected inclement weather. Races are scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m.

Saturday's race will decide who will capture all five points awarded to women's rowing for the Lexus Gauntlet Challenge - a season-long competition between UCLA and USC. This unique program awards points for the winner of each Bruin-Trojan head-to-head athletic contest throughout the year. The Lexus Gauntlet trophy will be awarded to the school with the most points at the year's end. UCLA currently leads USC by a score of 55.0-50.0.

UCLA and USC will each race a Varsity Eight, 2V Eight, Varsity Four and Novice Eight boat. The race winner will be determined by a point system similar to the one used at the Pac-10 Championships. With only two boats in each race, three points will be awarded to the Varsity Eight winner, two to the 2V Eight and one apiece to the winners of the Varsity Fours and Novice Eights.

Each team will also race a 2V Four that will not count toward the final team standings.

Last Year vs. USC
Last season, the UCLA women's rowing team faced the Women of Troy at the USC Boathouse in Wilmington, Calif. (Mar. 30, 2002). Despite an early 2-0 lead with victories in the Novice Eight (1 point) and Varsity Four (1 point) races, the Bruins fell to the Women of Troy in the Varsity Eight (3 points) and 2V Eight (2 points), surrendering the Lexus Gauntlet points from a final score of 5-2.

UCLA Notes
The dual vs. USC is the Bruins' final home meet of the season and the last race before the Pac-10 Championships held on May 18 in Rancho Cordova, Calif.

The Bruins last faced the University of Minnesota in dual-meet rowing action at Lake Phalen in Minneapolis, Minn. (Apr. 26). The Bruins (6:50.1) fell to the Golden Gophers (6:40.2) in the Varsity Eight race, recording their first dual-meet loss of the season.

The UCLA Novice Eight (7:15.0) continued their undefeated dual-meet record with a 2-second victory over Minnesota (7:17.34) in the Novice Eight race. The Minnesota 2N8 followed in third at 7:46.6.

USC Notes
USC women's rowing head coaches Zenon and Kelly Babraj were former coaches at UCLA. Zenon Babaraj was the men's rowing program director at UCLA from (1986-91). In his five years with the Bruins, he led the men to three straight Pac-10 Championships (1987-89) and earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year accolades each season.

Kelly Babraj, a former Bruin rower, was an assistant coach for UCLA women's rowing in 1986 and the head coach from 1987-91. She led the Bruins to Pac-10 Championships in 1990 and 1991 and earned three straight Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards (1989, 1990 and 1991). Kelly was the last UCLA women's rowing head coach since the program was cut by the athletic department at the end of the 1991 season.

The USC women's varsity eight is currently ranked No. 8 in the recent US Rowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association poll released on Apr. 30.

USC last raced on Sunday, Apr. 27, against Stanford at the USC Boathouse in Wilmington, Calif. In the Varsity Eights, The No. 4 Cardinal defeated the No. 7 Women of Troy by 3-seconds. Stanford recorded a winning time of 6:31.2, while USC posted a time of 6:34.2.

Stanford also defeated the Women of Troy in the 2V Eight and Novice Eight races. The only victory for USC was in the Varsity Four competition.

Lexus Gauntlet Challenge
Ballona Creek - Marina del Rey, Calif.
Saturday, May 10, 2003

Schedule of Events

10:00 a.m. - Women's Varsity Fours
10:15 a.m. - Women's 2V Fours
10:45 a.m. - Women's 2V Eights
11:15 a.m. - Women's Varsity Eights
11:30 a.m. - Women's Novice Eights

Directions to the UCLA Boathouse
UCLA Marina del Rey Aquatic Center
14001 Fiji Way
Marina del Rey, CA

From UCLA:
Take the 405 South (San Diego Freeway).
Take the 90 West (Marina del Rey Freeway).
Follow the 90 all the way to its end (which is a surface street).
Make a LEFT on 'Mindanao.'
Make a LEFT on 'Lincoln Blvd.'
Make a RIGHT on 'Fiji Way' (the Aquatic Center is located at the end of Fiji Way, behind the Villa Venetia Apartment Complex).

Free Parking at Dock 52 (15 minutes walk from the Aquatic Center). Parking also available at the Fisherman's Village (5 minutes walk from the Aquatic Center).

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