OSU Ready For Pac-10 Championships

May 13, 2004

CORVALLIS, Ore.- -

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THIS WEEK: The Oregon State women's rowing team will compete at the Pac-10 Championships Sunday, May 16 on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif.

The Beavers face tough competition this weekend, including four teams ranked in the top 20.

Racing begins at 8:00 a.m. Sunday morning. The race schedule is:

Novice 8: 8:30 a.m. (vs. California, USC, San Diego State, Southern Oregon, and Oregon)

JV 8: 8:40 a.m. (vs. California, USC, Sacramento State, and Loyola Marymount)

Varsity 8: 9:10 a.m. (vs. California, UCLA, Santa Clara, and UC-Santa Barbara)

Varsity 4: 12:50 p.m. (final only) (vs. Washington, California, Washington State, USC, Stanford, and UCLA)

LINEUP: (C- coxswain, S- Stroke, B- Bow)Varsity 8: C- Amber Pence, S- Kristin Tryon, Natasha Nemyre, Sarah Dubrasich, Julia White-Hoppe, Andrea Pleven, Kristen Reid, Tracy Colton, B- Caroline Leibinger

2V8: C- Stephanie Parker; S- Kaitlyn Kernek, Tracy Colton, Kate Laird, Kathy Freeborn, Sally DeNotta, Kristen Tomlinson, Amanda Florio, B- Sarah White

V4: C- Lauren Hubner, Nancy Raskauskas, Michelle Bacon, Jen DeVries, Angelique Manning

N8: C- Tiare Easley, S- Annie Halliburton, Liz Eischen, Katie Sikstrom, Erica O'Connell, Jen Hester, Ami Rothberg, Annie Embertson, B- Brooke Williams

Sara Dubrasich (V8, Crescent Calley HS), Nancy Raskauskas (V4, Corvallis HS), Angelique Manning (V4, Santiam Christian HS), and Erica O'Connell (N8, Alsea HS) all hail from the Corvallis area. Both Raskauskas and Manning rowed with the varsity four that took fourth at last year's Pac-10 Championships.

THE COACHING STAFF: Charlie Owen first arrived at Oregon State University in the fall of 1986 as a student-athlete. He has been involved with the program ever since.

Owen rowed in the varsity lightweight eight and heavyweight eight before an injury ended his sweep rowing career in 1988. However, he enjoyed a successful sculling career with an eventual position on the 1991 Pan American lightweight team that competed in Cuba.

Owen's coaching career began in the fall of 1991 as OSU's novice women's coach. He led the novice team for two years, with his teams placing second on the West Coast each season and all crews earning medals. At the same time, he coached a pre-elite team at the 1993 Olympic Sports Festival.

Owen assumed the reins as head women's coach in 1993, and the team has made great strides ever since. Of the seven NCAA Rowing Championships, Owen's crews have competed in three, with the highest team finish of seventh coming in 1997. The 2000 team also had a banner year with a third-place showing in the team point standings at the Pac-10 Conference meet; OSU also placed third in 1998 and 2002.

Owen began rowing at the Salisbury School in 1984. While there, he competed at the West German Junior National Championships and in England at the Henley Royal Regatta.

Owen is a 1992 graduate of Oregon State with a bachelor's degree in Housing Studies, and is a U.S. Rowing Level III Coach. He is married to Kris, a 1992 OSU graduate and former rower. They have a son, C.J. (3).

Kushlani (Kush) de Soyza, a former Northwestern University coxswain, is in her second season as the assistant varsity coach at Oregon State.

She served two years as freshman coach at the University of Virginia, where her crew won the 2001 ACC Championship.

Previously, de Soyza coached at the Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club, where she worked for six years with veteran juniors coach Todd Jesdale. At CJRC, de Soyza's eights won back-to-back national championships at the 1999 and 2000 USRowing Youth Invitational and finished second in both 1997 and 1998.

De Soyza's development camp crews won the Royal Canadian Henley Youth Eight from 1997-99, again in 2001, and finished second in 2000. In 1998, de Soyza was head coach at the USRowing Junior National Team Development Camp in Cincinnati and served as assistant at the 2001 and 2003 camps in New London, Conn. In the summer of 2004, she will serve as the assistant coach of the U.S. Junior Women's National Rowing Team, which competes at the Junior World Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

A 1992 graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, de Soyza worked as a newspaper reporter and copy editor before earning her teaching certificate at the University of Cincinnati. She also taught English at Cincinnati's Amelia High School, St. Ursula Academy, and St. Xavier High School.

Currently, de Soyza is a candidate for her Master's degree in Education at the University of Cincinnati.

Anne Kakela joined the Oregon State women's rowing coaching staff in October, 2003.

Kakela's primary responsibilities at OSU include coaching the novice team as well as assisting with recruiting and working with the varsity boats.

Prior to accepting the position at OSU, Kakela coached the masters women's program at the Lake Union Crew in Seattle, Wash.

Kakela's rowing accomplishments are impressive. She competed internationally as a four-year member of the United States National Team, winning the 1995 World Championships as a member of the eight.

Kakela also competed on the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team and earned four silver medals in the 1993-94 World Championships while rowing in the four and eight.

Kakela, from Steamboat Springs, Colo., began her rowing career as a freshman at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., and was invited to the National Team Development Camp after her novice year.

Kakela also worked as a research project coordinator at the University of Colorado, as well as working for Nokia Internet Communications and Andersen Consulting for four years.

Kakela earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Environmental Sciences from Dartmouth in 1992 and went on to earn a Masters of Science in Telecommunications from Colorado in 1996.

She is married to former University of California and Olympic Team rower Fred Honebein.

Britton Nixon joins the Oregon State coaching staff this year as the volunteer assistant coach after racing in the 2003 junior varsity eight as a fifth-year graduate student.

Nixon's primary responsibilities are assisting with the novice rowing program and recruiting.

Nixon rowed as an undergraduate at Smith College, where she won two gold medals at the Champion Regatta in the novice women's eight and varsity women's eight.

She graduated from Smith in 2001 with a triple major in Biology, Portuguese and Spanish.

Prior to her collegiate rowing career, Nixon trained as a cross-country runner and windsurfer at Seabury High School in Maui, Hawaii, placing third at the 1997 and 1998 Windsurfing National Championships.

Before starting graduate school at OSU in 2003, Nixon traveled extensively in South America and worked as a forestry surveyor in the Brazilian Amazon.

Currently working on her master's degree in Exercise and Sports Science and training in her single, Nixon is the head coach of the Corvallis Rowing Club.

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