May 2, 2009
The UCLA women's rowing team completed its home season with one victory in four races against USC Saturday at Marina del Rey.
The Bruins won convincingly in the Novice Eight race, but lost in the Varsity Four, Second Varsity Eight and First Varsity Eight races.
In the Lexus Gauntlet competition, USC claimed five points and increased its lead to 55-45 prior to Saturday's track meets.
Rowing into a stiff headwind, the Bruins jumped on the Trojans in the Novice Eight race and never trailed. They led by seven to eight seats at the 500-meter mark and stretched that to more than a length at 1500 meters. At the finish, the Bruins had won by more than nine seconds.
In the other three races, USC began aggressively and amassed insurmountable leads by the halfway point. The Bruins' lost in the Varsity 4 race by more than two minutes, but managed to hold their own early in the Second Varsity Eight and First Varsity Eight races. For 500 meters in the 1V8 race, the Bruins trailed by only a few seats.
"They're a good team," said UCLA Head Coach Amy Fuller Kearney, referring to USC. "Our performance today was not a measure of what we can accomplish. I believe we'll do better as the season progresses."
With a varsity roster of just 10 American rowers and 21 athletes from countries like Poland, Serbia, Russia and Bulgaria, USC entered the 1V8 race ranked 13th after suffering a one second loss at the Head of The Charles to No. 11 Virginia. The Trojans didn't disappoint, taking the lead for good at 500 meters and lengthening it at each interval. They won by nearly 19 seconds over a young program that celebrated just its fourth Senior Day.
Despite the setbacks on the water, the post-race mood was festive at the UCLA boathouse with Fuller Kearney lauding the accomplishments of six seniors and one manager. In the end, the team, led by its rowdy seniors, sang the UCLA Fight Song to the tunes of the Alumni Band.
Freshman Novice Eight
UCLA (Stroke: Andrea Panayides, 7. Nadia Basilio, 6. Carissa Heath, 5. Laurel Hyatt-Miller, 4. Megan Danley, 3. Jennifer Barnard, 2. Cheyenne Manske, Bow: Piper Akol, Cox: Leslie Chou) -- 7:12.5
Second Varsity Eight
UCLA (Stroke: Christine Sprouse, 7. Kaitlin Doering, 6. Carolina Curson, 5. Sheerin Salimi, 4. Shizue Reid, 3. Katrina Darracq, 2. Lindsay Pollock, Bow: Emma Skelton, Cox: Lauren Bonnaud) --7:37.51 (+23.81)
First Varsity Eight
UCLA (Stroke: Lauren Counter, 7. Anastasia Alexander, 6. Lynn Hancock, 5. Vanessa Teff, 4. Alexandra Howard, 3. Megan Lightfoot, 2. Kristin Fitzmorris, Bow: Rachel LaBella, Cox: Alaizah Koorji) --7:20.79 (+18.59)