Bears Add Six Recruits to Roster

Dec. 3, 2003

BERKELEY - After a serious effort in recruiting for next years' class, the Cal women's crew team has announced this signing of six newcomers to National Letters of Intent. And head coach Dave O'Neill said the Bears are not done yet. He expects a total of twenty commitments by spring.

'We look for terrific athletes who will fit well into our program,' O'Neill said. 'It is vital that the best recruits from the Bay Area and California come to Cal; we certainly achieved this goal. We also look for the best recruits in the country and abroad, and, again, this goal was achieved.'

Three of the six who signed include local Bay Area rowers Mara Allen of San Francisco, Ali Seders of Los Gatos, and Katie Sherman of Piedmont. This trio is expected to bring competitiveness, hard work, and leadership to the Cal squad, O'Neill said.

A student at Lowell High School and an athlete-of-the-year recipient at her training center in Marin, Allen is a top performer at one of the best programs in the country.

'Mara is an intense competitor, and we are looking forward to working with her at Cal,' O'Neill said.

As one of Allen's fellow competitors in the South Bay at Los Gatos High School, Seders will soon be joining forces with Allen next fall. Seders has demonstrated a strong work ethic at Los Gatos Rowing Club., while Sherman, a student at Piedmont High School, is currently gaining valuable leadership experience as the Oakland Strokes team captain.

'Ali is a hard worker who will do anything necessary for the team to win,' O'Neill said. 'And Katie's the type of athlete who makes her teammates around her better.'

To add to the one of the best recruiting classes the crew program has ever assembled, the team will also bring in Rebecca Meissner of Wrentham, Mass., Kendall Micco of Gold River, Calif., and Iva Obradovic of Novi Sad, Serbia and Montenegro.

From Boston University Academy, Meissner has shown her impressive talents through only one year of rowing at CRI in Boston. O'Neill, impressed with her full resume of results, decided she had a great future on the Cal team. Out of Saint Francis High School and the Capital R.C. program, Micco is a former All-American water polo player turned rower.

'Rebecca has the perfect combination of natural ability and work ethic, and Kendall's maturity, athleticism and attitude are exactly what we look for when recruiting,' O'Neill said. 'Also, Iva can make an immediate impact in our varsity eight.'

Obradovic, at 6-1, has already raced at a high level, having competed for the Serbian junior and under-23 national teams for several years.

The wealth of competitive experience, work ethic, and invaluable leadership that all of the recruits will bring next year has O'Neill eager for their arrival to Cal.

'This recruiting class will have an immediate impact on our program,' O'Neill said. 'We also recognize the need for development year after year. As good as this class is coming in, they are only going to get better, so we have set ourselves up really well for the next few years. I look forward to working with all of them.'

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