Nov. 16, 2001
Los Angeles - The reinstated UCLA Women's Rowing team signed their first recruits for their 2002-2003 season, it was released today. Michelle Fickling, Lindsey Hurban, Lauren May, and Shannon Packer, members of the Newport Aquatic Center Junior's Rowing Program, are the first to join UCLA Crew.
Shannon Packer, whose parents are both UCLA alumni, is extremely excited to join the Bruin family. She is very interested in the higher respect of educational opportunities, as well as the opportunity to represent UCLA in the athletic arena. Shannon is improving daily, and is emotionally charged to represent the Bruins. She's stepping up and is now amongst the top seniors on her team. Shannon, a former varsity soccer and tennis player at El Toro HS in Lake Forest, CA, dropped these sports to focus on rowing. She has made some very dramatic improvements and is now preparing for collegiate level.
Lauren May, a former volleyball player at Canyon HS in Anaheim, CA, is really excited to join the honors program here. She is a really bright individual with great athletic skills and unprecedented focus and determination. She will be a great contributor to the program.
Michelle Fickling, a former tennis player at Capistrano Valley HS in Mission Viejo, CA, will also be a great contributor to the program. She, too, challenges herself to step it up during her senior year and will further assist in increasing the depth on the team.
Lindsey Hurban, former varsity track and soccer player at Mission Viejo HS, is characterized by her leadership and reliability. Lindsey pulled her way from the third seat to stroke in her eight. She placed third in the quad at nationals (2001) and second in the quad at the Southwest Junior Championships. She, too, will be expected to further increase depth and make an immediate impact on the team.
"I am very excited about the impact these women will have on our team," stated head coach Amy Fuller. "With at least four women from the NAC 8+ joining the Bruin family, we will gain not only their individual skills, but also, a positive team dynamic. Their transition to UCLA won't be too cut out for them because they're really working hard at Newport right now."
Michelle, Lindsey, Lauren, and Shannon, all former athletes at their high schools, dropped their sports to focus on rowing. All four rowers stemmed from the NAC Junior's program, which has drastically changed the face of high school competitions in California. The program, which began in the late '80's, has significantly developed during the past few years. The team, consisting of about 30 varsity women, is coached by Christy Shaker. Last year, the team advanced to the State Championships in Sacramento, where they gave a strong performance. The NAC Juniors have taken down some other very prominent junior programs, and is now recognized as a force to be reckoned with.