Women of Troy Enjoy Record Day at San Diego Crew Classic
April 7, 2013
SAN DIEGO - The sixth-ranked USC women's rowing team separated itself from the pack with a trio of dominating performances on the waters of Mission Bay at the 40th-annual San Diego Crew Classic on Sunday, April 7. The Women of Troy hoisted the prestigious Jessop-Whittier Cup for an unprecedented third consecutive year and claimed grand final victories to win both the Jackie Ann Stitt Hungness Trophy and the Karen Plumleigh Cortney Cup.
"Awesome. That was really awesome," said head coach Zenon Babraj. "I think that they all rose to the occasion. It was a great day, but we've got to still keep in mind that it's San Diego and just the beginning of the season."
It is the second time in program history that the Trojans will return home with three trophies from the famed West Coast regatta; the first time that it has won in three varsity collegiate divisions. The last time USC was this successful at the Crew Classic was in 2007 when it won the Jessop-Whittier Cup, the Stitt Hungness Trophy, and the Carley Copley Cup; the third of which was won by a third varsity eight boat in an open division.
The Trojans' varsity eight kicked the day off in resounding fashion as it claimed USC's third consecutive Jessop-Whittier Cup; the fifth in program history. This year's cup was bestowed in memory of Patty Wyatt. The Women of Troy fought off some of the toughest crews in the nation to win their grand final. Up against top-ranked Virginia, and second-ranked California, USC also had to face No. 7 Washington and No. 9 UCLA as well as Duke.
"We always talk about how we want to run our own race," said senior coxswain Jennah Blau. "We knew that Virginia was going to come out fast. They took a lot of 10's and made a lot of moves directly after their start and we knew that that wasn't something we wanted to match, so we focused on running our own race.
Virginia took off as the race started and created a sizeable lead right off the bat. Cal and UCLA also had leads throughout the first half of the 2000-meter course. USC and Washington were each jockeying for fourth, but under the call of Blau, the Trojans walked through the Cavalier crew near the halfway point and began to zero in on the Bears and the Bruins who were still ahead. With 750 meters to go, the Trojans made another move and began to eat into the Cal-UCLA lead. USC's final burst came with just 250 meters to go as the Trojans crossed the finish line with a three-second lead on Cal. The Women of Troy registered a top time of 6:25.30 to outdo California's 6:28.04. Virginia took third place, and was followed by UCLA, Washington, and Duke.
In the women's collegiate second varsity eight division, the Trojans claimed their second win for the Jackie Ann Stitt Hungness Trophy. USC also won the Stitt Hungness Trophy in 2007. Coxed by sophomore coxswain Kellyn Freire, the Trojans' time of 6:32.41 was more than five seconds better than California's 6:37.43. Out of the third lane, USC out-raced the Bears, Washington, Virginia, UCLA, and Wisconsin to secure the Trojans' second varsity trophy of the day.
The varsity four boat also enjoyed a strong race as it claimed USC's second Karen Plumleigh Cortney Cup. The Trojans also won the inaugural race for the Cortney Cup in 2011. Under the direction of sophomore coxswain Paige Fernandes, USC turned in a time of 7:23.87 to win the grand final and finished comfortably in front of a UCLA four that had a time of 7:26.10. Washington came in third and was followed by a pair of Virginia boats, Washington State, and Duke.
Early in the morning, the Trojan novice eight competed in a petite final for the Laurel V. Korholz Perpetual Trophy. Out of lane two and coxed by Jaclyn Walles, USC finished in the back half of the race as Texas' A novice crew completed the course with a time of 6:54.90. Washington State finished second and was sandwiched by another Texas crew before USC came in fourth at 7:05.62. Orange Coast College finished fifth with Sacramento State in sixth.
USC's next races will take place on Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif., at the Lake Natoma Invitational on Saturday and Sunday (April 20-21). Please visit www.USCTrojans.com for more information.
For complete results from the 2013 San Diego Crew Classic, please visit www.crewclassic.org/results.
OFFICIAL USC LINEUPS
Women's Collegiate Varsity Invitational | USC Varsity Eight
Women's Collegiate 2V | USC Second Varsity Eight
Women's Collegiate Novice | USC Novice Eight