OSU Hosts University Of Victoria To Kick Off Spring Season

March 9, 2004


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SCHEDULE: The Oregon State women's rowing team hosts Canadian powerhouse University of Victoria on Saturday, March 13 at Dexter Reservoir near Eugene, Ore. Here's a look at Saturday's racing schedule:

9:00 - Varsity 4

9:15 - First novice 8

9:30 - Second novice 8

10:30 - Second varsity 8

10:45 - First varsity 8

DIRECTIONS TO DEXTER RESERVOIR: For those interested in attending one of OSU's rare home races this Saturday, directions to Dexter Reservoir follow: From Corvallis, take I-5 south past Eugene. Take Exit 188 (Hwy 58). Go to milepost 13 (white covered bridge). Turn left. Go into town and turn left at the second intersection. Lowell Park is on the left after roughly 1/4 mile. Turn left in park entrance. The first gravel road on the right leads to the boathouse.


Oregon State has high expectations for the 2004 season, with its sights set on Pacific-10 Conference championship medals and an invitation to the NCAA Championships.

The Beavers set into action this Saturday, March 13, when they put those expectations to the test against Canadian powerhouse University of Victoria at Dexter Reservoir, near Eugene, Ore. Racing begins at 9:00 a.m., weather permitting.

'We're definitely excited to get the racing season underway,' 13th-year head coach Charlie Owen said. 'We've been going hard in practice for quite a while now, so we're ready to get out on the race course and show what we can do.'

OSU met 'UVic' twice during the fall racing season - once at the Head of the Charles, in Boston, Mass., and again at the Head of the Lake Regatta in Seattle. Both times, OSU was within 35 seconds - over a three-mile course.

The fall matchups were head races, which span approximately three miles and feature several boats. Saturday's racing will be a head-to-head sprint over a 2,000-meter course.

'The sprint races are an all-out battle,' Owen said. 'It's a six-plus minute sprint to the finish line. We're looking forward to seeing where we stack up against a very good Victoria team. This will be a great chance to show that the hard work our rowers put in over the winter is paying dividends.'

In the Spring of 2003, OSU missed an NCAA bid by the narrowest of margins with the first varsity ranked 17th nationally at the end of the spring season; only 16 eights are invited to the championships.

Last year's disappointment has fueled the team's determination to earn a spot at this year's NCAA regatta.

'We were very close to being selected to compete in the NCAA Championships last year, which shows that we can be very competitive,' OSU coach Charlie Owen said. 'We graduated several athletes from our top eight last year, so it will take a team effort to reach the NCAAs this year.

'Our team leaders are doing a very good job of setting an example of the type of training we need to do, and with some good development from our younger athletes we will be able to achieve our goal of competing at the NCAA's.'

OSU has qualified for the NCAA Championships three times since 1997, when the team was ranked seventh in the nation and finished third at the Pac-10 Championships. The Beavers also earned NCAA bids in 1999 and 2000.

OSU's varsity team will be led this year by 2003 first-team All-American and senior co-captain Julia White-Hoppe. White-Hoppe trained with the U.S. National Rowing Team this summer and won gold at the prestigious Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in Vesper Rowing Club's championship eight. Her intense summer of training has prepared White-Hoppe to help make the 2004 season OSU's best yet.

'What I want most for our team this year is a sense of confidence and trust going into every race,' White-Hoppe said. 'I want to leave this team knowing that we've made our mark on the national rowing scene again and that each year, OSU rowers can train hard, perform their best and compete to win.'

Joining White-Hoppe as co-captain is junior Kristen Reid, who earned a Pac-10 silver medal as a freshman in the JV eight in 2002 and was a standout member of last year's top varsity boat.

Other student-athletes returning to the first varsity eight are junior Kristin Tryon, who rowed the stroke seat in the 2003 varsity eight; and sophomore Andrea Pleven, who last year became the first freshman to earn a spot in the team's top eight.

Also returning to the varsity squad are fourth-year veterans Tracy Colton, Kathy Freeborn, Kaitlyn Kernek and coxswain Amber Pence. Juniors Michelle Bacon, Amanda Florio, Angelique Manning, Natasha Nemyre and Nancy Raskauskas are also back.

The novice program returns many athletes to the Oregon State program, including Sally DeNotta, Leslie Husted, Kate Laird, Kelsi Stoll, Kristen Tomlinson and coxswain Stephanie Parker. Newcomers aiming for a varsity spot include freshmen Caroline Leibinger, who won a silver medal in the 2002 Junior World Championships in Germany's 4-, and Meghan Thomas, whose Canadian quad placed ninth at the 2003 Junior World Championships.

Last fall, OSU kicked off the 2003-04 season with its inaugural trip to Boston's Head of the Charles Regatta - the world's largest two-day regatta, which draws roughly 7,000 athletes. OSU finished sixth in the 22-boat regatta, beating several strong boats.

The spring schedule includes home races with Washington and Canadian powerhouse University of Victoria, as well as trips to the San Diego Crew Classic, the Stanford Invitational, a race with Washington State and Tennessee in Pullman, Wash., and the Pac-10 Championships in Sacramento, Calif.

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