UCLA Rowing Completes Recruiting

May 23, 2006

As the UCLA women's rowing team travels to New Jersey to compete in the NCAA Rowing Championships for the second consecutive year, the program has announced the remainder of is recruiting class for Fall of 2006.Joining the nine recruits who signed national letters of intent in the Fall will be three more signees: Lauren Counter, Francesca Propper, and Whitney Standefer.

Additionally, fifteen other student-athletes who have signed statements of intent to register will join the program in the Fall: Anna Boero, Caitlyn Czisny, Christine Fiacco, Courtney Frager, Lauren Fried, Briana Hernandez, Halsey Hixson, Christina King, Stephanie King, Kellie Koscher, Sofia Larsson, Marissa Linden, Samantha Melzer, Gevrina Seferaj, and Christine Seidel.

The 2005-06 recruiting class is both the largest in number in the team's history as well as the best in terms of overall experience, speed, and accomplishments. Coupled with a strong returning class, the Bruins are well-positioned to go after their first full team invitation to the NCAA championships in 2007.

Here are the latest rowing signees:

Anna Boero attended Wilton High School in Connecticut and rowed for the Maritime Rowing Club in Norwalk. This past year she attended Bucknell University. She will be rejoining fellow Maritime Rowing Club alumnae Lexie Howard (UCLA freshman and three seat in the varsity eight) and Brittany Liljeqvist (UCLA fall NLI signee).

Lauren Counter attends Long Beach Poly High School and rows for the Long Beach Junior Crew. Lauren's Long Beach varsity eight crew has had an outstanding year and placed third in the USRowing Southwest Region Junior Championships. That finish qualified the crew to compete in the US Rowing National Youth Championship in Cincinatti in June.

Caitlyn Czisny lives in Newport Beach, California and rows for the Newport Aquatic Center program. She will be graduating from Corona Del Mar High School. She has also competed in soccer, figure skating, swimming, water polo, tennis, and volleyball.

Christine Fiacco attends Centennial High School in Roswell, Georgia. She rows in the top boat for the Saint Andrew Rowing Club in Atlanta. Along with an outstanding ergometer score, she brings additional experience from rowing with the Southeast Youth Rowing Development Camp. She has also swam and played volleyball on her high school team.

Courtney Frager has rowed in both the openweight and lightweight crews for the Los Gatos Rowing Club. She attends St. Francis High School in Mountain View. Both of Frager's parents are UCLA alumni as are many of her aunts and uncles.

Lauren Fried is a coxswain for the Marin Rowing Association in Northern California. Marin consistently is one of the strongest junior rowing programs in the state as well as the nation. Fried attends Redwood High School.

Briana Hernandez lives in Los Alamitos and goes to Los Alamitos High School. While originally mainly a water polo player, she has added rowing to her sports background as a member of the Long Beach Junior Crew.

Halsey Hixon, from La Jolla, rows with the San Diego Rowing Club. After she graduates from La Jolla High and begins classes at UCLA, she will have the distinction of being a fifth generation Bruin.

Christina King continues the strong tradition of the best Newport Aquatic Center rowers coming to UCLA. Rowing primarily as a lightweight during her high school years, King brings tremendous potential with her as she starts her Bruin rowing career.

Stephanie King comes to UCLA from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana. King was a successful member of the Mater Dei volleyball team, as well as many club volleyball teams, and will transition to rowing this fall.

Kellie Koscher will be the second member of the UCLA rowing team to come from the Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She will join rising junior Bailey Blosser as a representative of the Sunshine State. Koscher has rowed throughout her high school years at Pine Crest.

Sofia Larsson attends Los Gatos High School. A former nationally ranked junior tennis player, Sofia is in her first year of rowing for the Los Gatos Rowing Club.

Marissa Linden will be the second recruited coxswain from the Long Beach Junior Crew, joining her former teammate, current UCLA freshman Chanel Suares. Linden attends Long Beach Poly along with current and future teammate Lauren Counter.

Samantha Melzer is a member of the varsity eight crew for the San Diego Rowing Club. Prior to starting rowing as a junior in high school, Melzer played basketball. She is attending University High School this year.

Francesca (Checka) Propper is prepping at the Kent School in Kent, Connecticut. She is a four year letter winner at Kent. Her Kent crews are enjoying a very successful year, both in fours as well as eights. Propper has in her resume numerous New England Interscholastic Rowing Association (NEIRA) and Connecticut State championships. She and her family live in Haverford, Pennsylvania.

Gevrina Seferaj is the second Mater Dei of Santa Ana recruit for this fall. Seferaj is a coxswain for the Newport Aquatic Center program. Her French teacher, Madame Antink, is the moderator of the Crew Club at Mater Dei.

Christine Seidel goes to Poway High School in Poway, California. A volleyball player in high school, Seidel will get her first exposure to rowing this fall at UCLA.

Whitney Standefer is a member of the Girls Preparatory School rowing team in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She started rowing in the spring of her sophomore year and quickly showed tremendous potential. She has experience in both sweep rowing and sculling. In addition to her high school coaches, she is being mentored by former U. S. national team head coach Hartmut Buschbacher.

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