No. 4 USC Claims Fourth Straight Jessop-Whittier Cup at Crew Classic

    USC senior All-American stroke Vineta Moca

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    April 6, 2014

    Post-Race Quotes

    SAN DIEGO - The fourth-ranked USC women's rowing team enjoyed a banner day at the 41st annual San Diego Crew Classic on the waters of Mission Bay, Sunday, April 6. The Women of Troy won an unprecedented fourth straight Jessop-Whittier Cup--the program's fifth overall--and claimed the Karen Plumleigh Cortney Cup for the second straight year and the third time overall.

    "I'm very pleased with what we did today," said head coach Zenon Babraj. "In the first eight, we had a very clear plan of what we wanted to do in the race and they went out there and executed it 100-percent, so it was very satisfying. Our varsity four was the nicest surprise of the day. It wasn't that we didn't expect them to win, but we've always felt that this boat has the most room for improvement and today they showed just how much they have improved. Today, they raced with a lot of maturity."

    Up against Washington, Washington State, San Diego, Wisconsin, and UCLA, the Trojans' varsity eight took a lead in its grand final for the Jessop-Whittier Cup and held on to cross the line with a time of 6:38.61. The time was just a little more than 2.5 seconds better than the Huskies' time of 6:40.86. WSU came in third at 6:48.57 followed by San Diego (6:50.83), Wisconsin (6:52.78), and UCLA (6:53.34). USC's V8 was coxed by junior Paige Fernandes. Senior All-American Vineta Moca stroked the boat followed by Krisztina Gyimes, Madara Strautmane, Keret Einaste, Madelyn Walters, Elizabeth Turner, Lindsay Gibson, and Svenja Jonas at the bow.

    "We came in with little to no expectations, so that we wouldn't put any added pressure on ourselves," said sophomore captain Lindsay Gibson. "We did want to bring all the trophies back to the boathouse with us, though. At the end of the regatta, we are extremely happy with the results. We have nothing to complain about at all."

    The Trojans' second varsity eight found itself in a dogfight for the Jackie Ann Stitt Hungness Trophy. Less than eight seconds was the difference between first and sixth. In the end, California finished the course first with a time of 6:51.36. Washington crossed with a time of 6:53.13 and barely edged USC's time of 6:53.97. Less than two seconds later, Washington State finished at 6:55.74 which was just ten one-hundredths of a second better than UCLA (6:55.83). Wisconsin took sixth place at 6:59.25. The USC 2V8 was coxed by junior Kellyn Freire. Deirdre Fitzpatrick sat at the stroke seat followed by Rebecca Shaffer, Eglit Vosu, Darian DiCianno, Kajsa Olsson, Jelena Miladinovic, Kamali Houston, and Shelby Adair in the bow position.

    USC's varsity four repeated as winners of the Karen Plumleigh Cortney Cup this time coxed by freshman Kaelyn Ibold. Junior captain Katherine Gleadow sat at stroke followed by Gitta Kivilaan, Frederike Hackenbroch, and Sara Bilimoria at the bow seat. The Women of Troy crossed the finish line with open water at 7:36.92 to get the win over California (7:42.41), UCLA (7:45.19), Washington State (7:46.55), San Diego (7:52.86), and Iowa (7:56.63).

    The Trojans raced a second varsity four boat in a B Final and came out of lane six to claim a victory with a time of 8:02.02. Coxed by Shelby Penfield, Erica Christianson stroked the boat followed by Nikki Kloss, Michelle Popelka, and Elaine Krebs at the bow seat. USC beat top-seeded Gonzaga (8:05.43), Old Dominion (8:07.40), UCLA (8:09.50), San Diego (8:09.85), and San Diego State (8:49.42).

    In the final race of the day, USC's novice eight matched a program-best finish in fifth place in the grand final for the Laurel V. Korholz Memorial Trophy. Washington's novice crew won the race with a time of 7:04.59 followed by Cal (7:10.11), UCLA (7:10.29), San Diego (7:36.45), and then USC at 7:39.93. Washington State took sixth place with a time of 7:55.55. The Trojans' novice eight was coxed by Aly Scharpf. Marygail Dibuono stroked the boat with Erika Blumberga, Brianna Morris, Stephanie Griep, Sophia Mitropoulos, Karina Batek, Anu Rajendran, and Megan Linney in the lineup.

    For complete race results, please visit Go to for a complete 2014 schedule of races for the Women of Troy.

    Mission Bay | San Diego, Calif.
    April 5-6, 2014

    Sunday, April 6
    * Note: Lane assignment noted next to finish

    INV. | Grand Final 2V | Grand Final 4+ | Grand Final 4+ | B Final NOVICE | Grand Final
    Jessop-Whittier Cup Jackie Ann Stitt
    Hungness Trophy
    Karen Plumleigh
    Cortney Cup
      Laurel V. Korholz
    Memorial Trophy
    1 (1) 6:38.61 USC 1 (2) 6:51.36 CAL 1 (1) 7:36.92 USC 1 (6) 8:02.02 USC 1 (1) 7:04.59 WASH
    2 (2) 6:40.86 WASH 2 (3) 6:53.13 WASH 2 (2) 7:42.41 CAL 2 (1) 8:05.43 GON 2 (2) 7:10.11 CAL
    3 (3) 6:48.57 WSU 3 (1) 6:53.97 USC 3 (3) 7:45.19 UCLA 3 (2) 8:07.40 ODU 3 (3) 7:10.29 UCLA
    4 (6) 6:50.83 USD 4 (5) 6:55.74 WSU 4 (4) 7:46.55 WSU 4 (4) 8:09.50 UCLA 4 (5) 7:36.45 USD
    5 (5) 6:52.78 WIS 5 (6) 6:55.83 UCLA 5 (6) 7:52.86 USD 5 (6) 8:09.85 USD 5 (6) 7:39.93 USC
    6 (4) 6:53.34 UCLA 6 (4) 6:59.25 WIS 6 (5) 7:56.63 IOWA 6 (2) 8:49.42 SDSU 6 (4) 7:55.55 WSU
    USC 1V8 USC 2V8 USC 1V4 USC 2V4 USC N8
    Bow Svenja Jonas Bow Shelby Adair Bow Sara Bilimoria Bow Elaine Krebs Bow Megan Linney
    2 Lindsay Gibson 2 Kamali Houston 2 Fred. Hackenbroch 2 Michelle Popelka 2 Anu Rajendran
    3 Elizabeth Turner 3 Jelena Miladinovic 3 Gitta Kivilaan 3 Nikki Kloss 3 Karina Batek
    4 Madelyn Walters 4 Kajsa Olsson Stk Katherine Gleadow Stk E. Christianson 4 Sophia Mitropoulos
    5 Keret Einaste 5 Darian DiCianno Cox Kaelyn Ibold Cox Shelby Penfield 5 Stephanie Griep
    6 Madara Strautmane 6 Eglit Vosu         6 Brianna Morris
    7 Krisztina Gyimes 7 Rebecca Shaffer         7 Erika Blumberga
    Stk Vineta Moca Stk Deirdre Fitzpatrick         Stk Marygail Dibuono
    Cox Paige Fernandes Cox Kellyn Freire         Cox Aly Scharpf