Women's Rowing
    Women of Troy Throttle Competition in Preliminary NCAA Heats

    USC junior All-American stroke Vineta Moca

    May 31, 2013

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    INDIANAPOLIS - The second-ranked USC women's rowing team was relentless as it claimed first place in all three of its races on the first day of the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships at Eagle Creek Park on Friday, May 31. The Women of Troy displayed incredible poise and fight against schedule changes, inclement weather, and uncertain course conditions to emerge with three spots in Saturday (June 1) A/B semifinal races.

    As the top-seeded boat in the I Eights event, USC's varsity eight heat was originally slated to start at 8:50 a.m., but race officials moved the start of every race up by 90 minutes the night prior. As weather patterns developed throughout the morning, races were then delayed 60 minutes. The Trojans launched for an 8:20 start amidst some of the heaviest driving rain of the day but were unfazed.

    All five V8 boats came off the line with a head of steam, but Yale and Washington State had a lead on the pack at the 500-meter mark. USC, Harvard, and Oklahoma were each no more than two seconds behind and maintained contact with the leaders. Halfway through the race, Yale held the slimmest of leads over fellow Ivy Harvard with USC just a clip back in third, but a gap had grown between the top three and the bottom two.

    Harvard made a push to get in front with 500 meters to go, but the steady Trojans who appeared to have been on an economy run dropped the hammer and began walking through the Bulldogs and the Crimson. With 250 left in the race, the Women of Troy looked to cruise comfortably towards the finish line and finished with the day's top time of 6:48.94. Harvard (6:50.24) came up with the second spot to join USC as automatic qualifiers for the A/B semifinals. Yale (6:52.37) was two seconds off Harvard's time with Washington State (7:05.20) and Oklahoma (7:11.63) in the back.

    USC's I Eights win kept the varsity eight undefeated in 2013. Coxed by senior Jennah Blau, the Trojans' lineup was Pac-12 Athlete of the Year senior Melanie Grindle in the bow seat followed by Iskra Angelova, Jelena Zelenovic, Madara Strautmane, Keret Einaste, Ivana Filipovic, Krisztina Gyimes, and Vineta Moca in the stroke seat.

    The Trojans' 2V8 raced in the II Eights third heat and were locked in a close race with Marist 500 meters in. The Red Foxes had the second-best 500-meter split of the entire race with a time of 1:40.11 through the first quarter of the course. As the crews neared the midway point of the race, Princeton had claimed the lead with an incredible time of 1:28.36 in the second 500 meters. USC and the Tigers were neck-and-neck through the rest of the race, but Princeton held a sizeable lead with just 500 meters to go.

    USC 2V8 made its final move in the last quarter of the race to overtake the Tigers and crossed the finish line more than two seconds ahead of Princeton with a final time of 6:56.30 to win the heat. The Tigers came in next with a time of 6:58.56. USC and Princeton far out-paced the other four crews which each finished more than 15 second later. Notre Dame came in third (7:15.09) with Oklahoma (7:19.67), Gonzaga (7:21.89), and Marist (8:16.54) far behind the pack.

    Coxed by sophomore Kellyn Freire, USC's 2V8 lineup had sophomore captain Elizabeth Turner on the bow seat followed by Madelyn Walters, Vanessa Tyson, Marlena Adamska, Jelena Miladinovic, Lindsay Gibson, Rebecca Shaffer, and Deirdre Fitzpatrick at stroke.

    The Trojans' final race of the morning had its varsity four of stroke Katherine Gleadow, Darian DiCianno, Eglit Võsu, and bow Kajsa Olsson coxed by sophomore Paige Fernandes. The boat never trailed in the second heat of the fours event and came up with a first-place victory (7:52.32) over Ohio State (7:55.26). USC came out of the starting blocks and delivered a 500-meter split of 1:54.89 to outpace the next closest boat by five seconds.

    USC continued to lead at the 1,000-meter mark and had pulled away from the group with Ohio State. Princeton's four fought for third place with Stanford with Rhode Island already locked into fifth place by 20 seconds. Down the stretch, the Trojans maintained their distance and lost contact with the Buckeyes momentarily, but Ohio State fought back with 150 meters to go. Still, the Trojans kept the pressure on to finish in front. Stanford came in third (8:02.71) followed by Princeton in fourth (8:04.48) and Rhode Island in fifth (8:48.18).

    The Women of Troy avoided having to race in any repechage races by virtue of their first-place finishes in all heats. USC placed all three boats directly into A/B semifinals which take place on Saturday (June 1).

    USC's varsity eight will kick off the second day as the top boat in its semifinal. There, it will face Virginia, California, Stanford, UCLA, and Brown at 7:40 a.m. ET. The II Eights semifinal will pit USC's 2V8 against Ohio State, Washington, Stanford, Harvard, and Yale at 8 a.m. The last semifinal is set for 8:30 a.m. when the varsity four will race Virginia, Notre Dame, Washington State, Michigan, and Princeton.

    The semifinal races will determine placement and seeding into Sunday's grand and petite finals. The top three boats in each semifinal will be entered into the grand final while the bottom three finishers will move on to petite finals. Please visit www.NCAA.com for more information on the championships, updated schedules, and ticket information.

    2013 NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships
    Eagle Creek Park | Indianapolis, Ind.
    Preliminary Heats and Repechages
    Friday, May 31, 2013
    I Eights | Heat 1
    1. USC (3) 6:48.943
    2. Harvard (2) 6:50.238
    3. Yale (4) 6:52.370
    4. Washington State (5) 7:05.204
    5. Oklahoma (1) 7:11.629
    II Eights | Heat 3
    1. USC (3) 6:56.304
    2. Princeton (4) 6:58.556
    3. Notre Dame (2) 7:15.092
    4. Oklahoma (3) 7:19.672
    5. Gonzaga (5) 7:21.894
    6. Marist (6) 8:16.541
    Fours | Heat 2
    1. USC (2) 7:52.323
    2. Ohio State (3) 7:55.263
    3. Stanford (5) 8:02.708
    4. Princeton (4) 8:04.477
    5. Rhode Island (1) 8:48.183


      V8 2V8 V4
    Cox Jennah Blau Kellyn Freire Paige Fernandes
    Stroke Vineta Moca Deirdre Fitzpatrick Katherine Gleadow
    7 Krisztina Gyimes Rebecca Shaffer Darian DiCianno
    6 Ivana Filipovic Lindsay Gibson Eglit Võsu
    5 Keret Einaste Jelena Miladinovic Kajsa Olsson
    4 Madara Strautmane Marlena Adamska  
    3 Jelena Zelenovic Vanessa Tyson  
    2 Iskra Angelova Madelyn Walters  
    Bow Melanie Grindle Elizabeth Turner