Former Cal Rowers Race at World Championships

Aug. 25, 2003

Four former members of Cal women's crew are competing for the United States at the FISA World Rowing Championships currently being held in Milan, Italy.

Megan Dirkmaat '90 (San Jose, CA) and the defending world champion U.S. eight clocked in at 6:16.40 to win the first heat and advance to the final. Dirkmaat is a three-time national team member. She finished fourth in the eight in 2001 and 12th in the pair at last year's world championships.

Laurel Korholz '93 (La Jolla, CA) reached the semifinals in the women's quadruple sculls as her U.S. quartet placed third (6:41.26) in their heat. Korholz is a nine-time national team member who is a strong medal contender in the quad after winning the World Cup event in Munich earlier this year.

Korholz and Dirkmaat are also competing for Olympic berths, as the World Championships serves as the initial qualifying tournament for certain events, including the women's eight and the women's quadruple sculls, for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

First-time national team member Julie Nichols '00 (Livermore, CA) kicked off the competition, placing fourth (7:56.54) in the first heat of the first event, the lightweight women's single sculls. She races in a repechage, or second-chance race to advance, in this case, to the semifinals, on Tuesday.

Whitney Webber '00 (Sacramento, CA), a two-time national team member, will race in the women's four. This event is a final only. Webber placed fifth in the same event at the 2002 World Championships.

'It's great that so many Golden Bears are on the U.S. team and will be racing at worlds,' Cal coach Dave O'Neill said. 'Laurel has been a staple on the national team for years, and I'm really proud to see Julie, Megan, Whitney doing so well. They played major roles in our program's recent success, and their hard work is now paying off on the international stage.'

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