USC Women's Rowing Welcomes Eight More Oarswomen to 2021 Class
LOS ANGELES--The USC women's rowing team has signed eight more women to the 2021 class, head coach Josh Adam announced today (May 20). Fiona Batstone, Caitlin McTygue, Dilan Johnson, Rhese Abrams, Shelby Fary, Katharine Skorge, Sonja Washburn and Evita Franckevicha will join the other eight women in the fall of 2021.
"We expect that this 2021 class will have an immediate, as well as a lasting impact on USC Women's Rowing," said Adam. "We have plans for USC Women's Rowing to take a giant step forward out of the COVID-19 year. Top to bottom, these women are a perfect fit for the Trojan Rowing Family, and they are also a dedicated group of competitors who are coming here to help bring their future alma mater back to national prominence."
Fiona Batstone will join the Women of Troy from Newport Beach, Calif. and has been rowing for the Newport Aquatic Club since 2018. In her first season with Newport Aquatic Club, Batstone rowed in the Freshmen 8+ boat to a first place finish at the 2018 Southwest Youth Championships. In 2019, she returned to the Southwest Youth Championships, where she finished fourth as a part of the Varsity 8+ boat. She also competed at the 2019 Head of the Charles with the Youth Varsity 8+ and posted an 11th place finish out of 85 entries. Prior to the COVID-19 shut down, Batstone placed first in the Varsity 4+ and the Varsity 8+ at the 2020 Faultline Faceoff.
"Fiona has continued to impress us with her results from NAC (Newport Aquatic Club)," said Adam. "Her tireless efforts to improve have been evident. We are excited to see how much faster she can get in our training program."
Caitlin McTygue arrives at USC from Sacramento, Calif. and has been rowing for Capital Junior Rowing since 2017. In 2018, McTygue was a participant at the USRowing Junior National Team Development Camp. She placed first at the 2018 Faultline Faceoff in the 4x and won the Junior 8+ at the San Diego Crew Classic. She returned to compete at the 2019 Faultline Faceoff where she won the Junior 8+ and the 4+ and she also earned second place in the Junior 8+ at the San Diego Crew Classic. She finished the 2019 rowing season by placing ninth in the 1V8+ at the USRowing Junior Nationals. Prior to rowing, McTygue played tennis, soccer and swam.
"Caitlin is a dedicated athlete and teammate," said Adam. "Her work ethic and light-hearted nature stood out to us in the recruiting process. She will be a great addition to our team."
Coxswain Dilan Johnson will join the Women of Troy from San Diego, where she competed for the San Diego Rowing Club. Before beginning her coxing career, she was a competitive swimmer, runner and water polo player. During her novice year in 2019, she coxed men's fours and men's eights boats. Johnson raced at the 2019 San Diego Fall Classic with a second place finish in the men's 4+ and a third place finish in the men's 8+. She also raced at the 2019 Long Beach Christmas Regatta where she placed first in the women's 4+ and second in the men's 4+ and 8+. In 2020, she raced at Faultline Faceoff, where she placed second in the men's 4+ and third in the men's 8+. In addition to coxing, she likes to compete on the erg as well. Johnson won the 1k coxswain event at the 2019 San Diego Indoor Classic.
"Dilan is a great coxie," said Adam. "A true student of the sport. She has already shown herself to be a great teammate, and we know that she will work well with our current coxie corps to refine her skills."
Rhese Abrams arrives at Troy from Chicago and has been rowing for the Chicago Rowing Foundation since 2016. Her notable finishes include placing first at the 2016 Midwest Regional Regatta in the JV8+, placing second at the 2017 Midwest Regional Regatta in the JV 8+ and finishing in fifth at the 2020 American Youth Cup Series with the JV8+. Abrams was expected to compete at the top varsity level before her season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Rhese has already been a leader within this class," said Adam. "She has been an inquisitive athlete about the process of competing at the DI level. This same drive has led her to being one of the top athletes at a top US rowing club. We know she will enter into USC and achieve great heights with rowing."
Shelby Fary will join the Women of Troy from Cameron Park, Calif., where she has been rowing for Capital Junior Crew since 2018. She won the Novice 8+ at the 2019 Faultline Faceoff, and finished her first racing season by placing fourth at the 2019 Southwest Junior Regional Championships. After earning a spot in the Varsity 8+ crew for her second season, Fary helped her team place second in the women's V8+ 2019 Head of the American Regatta. She also posted a strong 16th place finish out of 85 entries at the 2019 Head of the Charles. Before the COVID-19 shutdown, Fary claimed a second place finish in the Varsity 4+ and a first place finish in the Varsity 8+ at the 2020 Faultline Faceoff.
"Shelby is the type of athlete you really enjoying coaching," said Adam. "She wants to be good. Every opportunity to get faster is taken advantage of to its fullest extent. Getting to know Shelby and her dad in this process of recruitment has been very fun. We know that she will come in and make a huge impact with our team."
Katharine Skorge crosses the Pacific Ocean to arrive at Troy from Honolulu, Hawaii. She has been paddling since 2018 and has competed for the Punahou School Paddling Club, Hu Nalu Junior Distance Crew, and Waikiki Surf Club Juniors. While competing for her high school, Punahou, Skorge placed second in the Mixed Varsity and Varsity Girls crews at the Hawaii High School Association State Paddling Championships. She was named to the Interscholastic League of Hawaii's Mixed Varsity D1 All-Star team. That same year, Skorge was awarded the Most Important Player award by the Punahou School. Recently, she competed in the Na Wahine O Ke Kai World Championship of Long-Distance Canoe, a forty-one-mile race across the Kai'iwi Channel with crews from all over the world. Skorge competed at the youngest eligible age (16), and her crew from Hui Nalu Juniors placed fifth in the junior's category out of the 60 crews competing.
"Kat is such a dedicated and fun-loving athlete that we know she will achieve great things at USC," said Adam. "Her dedication to learning the sport has already been greatly evident through the whole recruiting process. We know she will have a significant impact on our team."
Sonja Washburn joins the Trojan Family from Seattle, Wash. and has been rowing for the Pocock Rowing Club since 2017. At the 2019 Brentwood Regatta, she placed third in both the V8+ and the V4+. She also won the V4+ at the 2019 Husky Open, and placed third in the V4+ at the 2019 Tail of the Lake Regatta. Washburn's crew placed 13th at the 2019 Head of the Charles Regatta.
"Sonja will bring great athletic talent and team driven mentality to USC," said Adam. "We have been excited to get her into our training program and see how much faster she can become."
Evita Franckevicha arrives at USC from Daugavpils, Latvia and has been rowing for Daugavpils BJSS rowing club since 2016. She has been a member of the Latvian Rowing National Team since 2017. She placed second in the 2- at the 2017 Baltic Open Rowing Championships and fifth in the 2- at the 2017 International Amber Oars Regatta. In 2019, Franckevicha earned third in the 2x at the Baltic Open Rowing Championships and third in the 8+ at the International Amber Oars Regatta. In 2020, she placed second in the 4x and fourth in 1- at the Baltic Open Rowing Championships. She also took fourth place in the 1x at the International Amber Oars Regatta. Her junior year in high school, Evita decided to spend the year in the United States. While here, she rowed at Olympia Area Rowing Association. Her crew placed first in the American Lake Dall Classic in the V8+. She has recently competed at the World Indoor Championships with the Latvian U23 National Team, where her crew finished fourth. They also placed third at the British Indoor Championships.
"Evita first stood out to us on a evaluation trip to Olympia," said Adam. "We continued to track her rowing when she returned to Latvia. We were excited to see her gain so much speed at home. Her tireless work ethic will be a welcome addition to the Women of Troy."
These eight student-athletes will look to make an immediate impact to the USC women's rowing team upon their arrival in the fall of 2021.