This past weekend, the USC women’s rowing team earned an unprecedented fourth-straight Jessop-Whittier Cup at the 41st annual San Diego Crew Classic in Mission Bay, Calif. It was the fourth-ranked Women of Troy’s fifth title in the tournament.
The Jessop-Whittier Cup is an invitational event at the San Diego Crew Classic, and USC sent its first varsity eight-man team to compete. Junior Paige Fernandes was the coxswain, while senior Vineta Moca stroked the boat. Junior Krisztina Gyimes, sophomore Madara Strautmane, sophomore Keret Einaste, senior Madelyn Walters, junior Elizabeth Turner, sophomore Lindsay Gibson and freshman Svenja Jonas were at the bow for the victorious Women of Troy.
Additionally, the Women of Troy claimed their second straight Karen Plumleigh Cortney Cup. It was USC’s third overall win at the event. Last year, the Women of Troy won all three races at the Crew Classic.
Ranked No. 4 in the nation coming into the race, the Women of Troy competed against Washington, Washington State, San Diego, Wisconsin and crosstown rival UCLA. Junior Katherine Gleadow felt that her team was successful in executing its race plan.
“For us, we have a pretty simple race plan,” Gleadow told USCTrojans. “[Freshman] Kaelyn [Ibold] is pretty good at executing it. She is very good at listening to other coxswains’ calls and responding to them even if she can’t see them. It was fun and we’re still testing to see what we can do.”
USC’s second varsity eight took third in its Grand Final for the Jackie Ann Stitt Hungness Memorial Trophy. Trojans’ Novice advanced to the Grand Final for the Laurel V. Korholz Perpetual Memorial Trophy. In total, four boats pushed ahead to the Grand Final races.
“I’m very pleased with what we did today,” USC head coach Zenon Babraj told USCTrojans.com. “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. I felt that the boat has gotten more and more confident and they executed the plan and that’s why we won the race.”
Coming up this Saturday and Sunday, women’s rowing will compete at the Third Annual Lake Natoma Invitational. Last year, USC claimed the Natoma Invitational title, conquering California and Stanford in the finals. This year’s event, which will feature Cal and Stanford as well as San Diego, Sacramento State, Oklahoma, Brown and Kansas, will be televised all day on the Pac-12 Networks. The Women of Troy will take a two-week break after this weekend’s action, resting up for a dual meet with the Cardinal on April 26.
Gleadow has high expectations for the rest of the season.
“I think we always have the highest expectations of ourselves,” Gleadow told USCTrojans.com. “It was nice to see what kind of speed we have even though we still have a long way to go this season. I think we can only improve from here.”