Wierzbowskas Take Fifth in Semifinal, Will Race in Olympic B Final

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    Aug. 11, 2016

    RIO DE JANEIRO -- USC women's rowing All-American Anna Wierzbowska and sister Maria finished fifth in the women's pairs' first A/B semifinal on Thursday, Aug. 11, at Lagoa Stadium. The Polish sisters' time of 7:39.12 ranked ninth overall and put them into the B Final set for 9:30 a.m. in Brazil (4:30 a.m. PT) on Friday, Aug. 12.

    The Wierzbowskas, first-time Olympians, held their own among the top pairs in the world, but the semifinal soon separated into front and back halves. Great Britain's pair of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning held the lead the entire 2000 meters and finished with a time of 7:18.69. In second place, Americans Grace Luczak and Felice Mueller crossed the line a few seconds later at 7:20.93. From South Africa, Kate Christowitz and Lee-Ann Persse finished third at 7:24.03.

    Through the first 500 meters, the Wierzbowskas held strong in fourth place but were overtaken by the Romanian duo of Madalina Beres and Laura Oprea. Romania finished in fourth at a time of 7:29.20. The Wierzbowskas crossed the line next. In sixth place the entire way, Italy's pair of Sara Bertolasi and Alessandra Patelli finished with a time of 7:45.44.

    In the B Final, the Wierzbowskas will race again against the Italian and Romanian pairs; and will also take on pairs from China (Tian Miao/Min Zhang), France (Marie Le Nepvou/Noemie Kober), and Germany (Kerstin Hartmann/Kathrin Marchand). The race will be streamed live on NBCSports.com and via the NBC app.

    For more information on all of USC's 44 Olympic athletes, a complete schedule of events, and results, please visit www.USCTrojans.com/rio2016. Use the hashtag #USC2RIO to join the conversation and follow @USC_Athletics on social media.

    For more information on USC women's rowing and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com, and follow @USCWomensRowing on Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, and Instagram.