Rowing's Varsity Eight Boat Heads To NCAA Championships

May 28, 2003

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This Week -- The USC women's rowing team is sending its 12th-ranked Varsity Eight boat to the 2003 NCAA Championships for the fifth-consecutive year as an at-large selection. The championships take place this week, May 30-June 1, on Eagle Creek Reservoir in Indianapolis, Ind. The Trojans, whose Varsity Eight boat placed eighth at last years championships, will look to advance to the grand final this year and defend its success of season's past. USC has been ranked as high as No. 6 by the USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Coaches Poll this season. Live scoring and more information on the event is available on the internet at (just click on the NCAA Championship logo on the rowing page).

The championships will consist of three events - Varsity Eight, JV Eight and Fours - and each will cover a 2,000-meter course. The team championship is comprised of 12 teams, and each team is required to field two boats of eight rowers each and one boat of four rowers. In addition, four eight-women boats from institutions not represented in the team competition (such as USC) are selected.

USC Varsity Eight Lineup: 8-Andrea Korom, 7-April Hudlett, 6-Marketa Vochoskova, 5-Katrin Gleie, 4-Sarah Pomeroy, 3-Christina Brinck, 2-Jeanne De Lapoyade, 1-Anne Molholm, Cox-Jessica Patterson

West Region V8 Rankings -- The Varsity Eight boat enters the championships as the fifth-ranked boat in the West Region according to the NCAA Women's Rowing Committee. The rankings are as follows: 1. Stanford, 2. Washington, 3. Washington State, 4. California, 5. USC, 6. Oregon State

Racing Schedule -- Co-hosted by Indiana University and the United States Rowing Association, the schedule of events for the seventh-annual NCAA Championship is as follows (All times based on Eastern Standard Time):

Friday, May 30
8 a.m. - I Eights Heat 1
8:15 a.m. - I Eights Heat 2
8:30 a.m. - I Eights Heat 3

Saturday, May 31
10:30 a.m. - I Eights Semifinals 1
10:45 a.m. - I Eights Semifinals 2
11 a.m. - I Eights (places 13-16)

Sunday, June 1
11:45 a.m. - I Eights Petite Final (places 7-12)
12 p.m. - I Eights Grand Final (places 1-6)

At the 2003 Pac-10 Championships -- USC got off to a great start at the 2003 Pac-10 Championships on Lake Natoma, May 18. The Women of Troy advanced to the Grand Finals in all three main events - Varsity Eight, JV Eight, Varsity Four - for the first time in program history. Unfortunately, the Trojans were unable to complete the day in the same manner. USC finished fifth in the Varsity Eight final and sixth in the JV Eight and Varsity Four races. USC's Varsity Eight crew finished only three seconds behind defending conference champion Washington in its first heat. Despite high expectations, the Trojans fell behind in a tight race for the championship. Stanford beat the field, crossing the finish line in 6:30.3, nearly a boat-lengths in front of Washington (6:34.7). Washington State (6:36.3), California (6:36.7) and USC (6:38.4) followed within a four-second span. The Trojans' JV Eights and Varsity Fours followed the same pattern for the day. Both boats finished third in their morning heats to advance to the Grand Final. The JV Eight boat trailed only Stanford and Washington, while the Varsity Four boat followed Cal and Oregon State. In the final, the two boats finished in sixth place in a time of 6:52.3 and 8:05.7, respectively.

Last Year At NCAA Championships -- USC's Varsity Eight boat placed second in the Petite Final for an eighth-place overall finish at the 2002 NCAA Championships at Eagle Creek Reservoir in Indianapolis, Ind. While Washington won the Varsity Eight individual event, Brown captured the overall team title. In the Varsity Eight Petite Final, to determine places seven through 12, Yale crossed the line first in a time of 6:39.99. USC followed with a time of 6:43.71 and Michigan finished in 6:44.31 for third place.

USC History At NCAA Championships -- Since the USC women's rowing program began offering scholarships in 1994, the Trojans have made five consecutive appearances at the NCAA Championships - 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002. Most notably, USC captured the Women's Varsity Four national title in 1998 by defeating eventual 1999 champion Brown.

Babraj's In Their First Year At USC -- This season marks the first for USC head rowing coaches Zenon and Kelly Babraj. With a long list of accomplishments at the international and national levels, Zenon Babraj serves as the program director and co-head coach with Kelly. The pair took over in June, 2002, as only the second coaching staff in the history of the women's rowing program. The Babraj's hired Craig Webster, a former head coach at UCLA with over seven years of collegiate coaching experience, to direct the novice.

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