LOS ANGELES--Five top recruits have signed a national letter-of-intent to join the USC women's rowing program for the 2013 season, head coach Zenon Babraj announced today. The signees are: Darian DiCianno (Lafayette, Pa. / Mount Saint Joseph Academy), Deirdre Fitzpatrick (Cheshire, Conn. / Sacred Heart Academy)Lindsay Gibson (Roswell, Ga. / Roswell HS), Kamali Houston (Sacramento, Calif. / St. Francis HS), Michelle Martina (Monte Sereno, Calif. /St. Francis HS).
"This is a very talented and exceptional group of athletes. With their talent and upbeat personalities, I feel certain this group will have an immediate positive impact on the performance of our team. We are very excited to welcome them to the Trojan Family," said Babraj.
Here are brief biographies on the signees:
Darian DiCianno, (Lafayette, Pa. / Mount Saint Joseph Academy) -- DiCianno rows for coach Mike Mckenna at Mount Saint Joseph Academy. She was invited to the US Rowing Selection Camp after her sophomore year and attended the US Rowing High Performance Camp in 2010. Rowing in the Eights division at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, DiCianno finished first in 2010 and second in 2011. Recently, her crew placed third at the 2011 Head of the Charles Regatta in the Youth Eights and finished first at the 2011 Head of the Schuylkill Regatta.
Deirdre Fitzpatrick, (Cheshire, Conn. / Sacred Heart Academy) -- Fitzpatrick, a member of the 2011 US Junior National Team, rows for the Connecticut Boat Club -one of the top programs in the country- led by coach Liz Trond. Trond is also the coach of the US Junior National Team. After attending the 2011 selection camp, she earned a spot on the US Eight boat which placed third at the Junior World Championships. Fitzpatrick also placed third at the 2011 US Rowing Youth National Championships with the Eight boat and recently took first place at the Head of the Charles in the Youth Fours category.
Lindsay Gibson, (Roswell, Ga. / Roswell HS) -- Gibson rows for the Atlanta Junior Rowing program and was a member of the 2010 US Rowing High Performance Team. She was invited to the Junior National Team Selection Camp during her sophomore year and was then selected to the High Performance Team that traveled to Germany to race the German Junior National Team. Gibson then helped the team qualify for the 2010 US Rowing Youth National Championships. She holds 2k and 5k ergo meter score records at the Atlanta Junior Rowing Association. Gibson also played on her high school basketball team and helped lead them to the 2010 regional Championship.
Kamali Houston: (Sacramento, Calif. /St. Francis High School) -- Houston rows for the Capital Crew coached by Dede Birch and Toby Johnson. She won the 2011 California Indoor Rowing Championships in the junior division and was invited to the U.S. Junior National Team ID camp. Houston took 2nd place at the 2011 South West Regional Championships. Prior to rowing she was a gymnast, a dancer, a swimmer and most recently a volleyball player.
Michelle Martina, (Monte Sereno, Calif. / St. Francis HS) -- Martina is the top coxswain on the Los Gatos Women's Varsity Rowing Team under coach Bob Cowan and Matt Pinschmidt. She placed first in the Eights and Fours at the 2010 Southwest Regional's and coxed at the San Diego Crew Classic and Head of the Charles Regatta in 2011.
USC opens the spring season March 31-April 1 at the San Diego Crew Classic in Mission Bay, Calif.