Alexis Yudin, from Tesoro High School in Las Flores; Rachel Reynolds, out of Westlake Village's Westlake High School; Mary Beth Blider, from Pine View School in Osprey, Florida; Palo Alto High School's Alexandra DeStefano; and Alexis Jacques from the nearby Canyon Crest Academy, will join the Tritons as true freshmen in 2011-12.
"This is the largest early signing group we have had in the history of rowing, and by far the best. We are thrilled and honored to welcome each of them and their families to the Triton family," said Pinkerton. "Each of these women is an outstanding scholar, and successful rowers in their own right. As a group, they bring a global and national perspective, and a history of athletic and rowing success."
Yudin's rowing career is only a year-old, having begun at the Newport Aquatic Center in 2009. Her outstanding athletic career contains a third-place national finish as part of her softball team in 2005. Yudin is also a decorated equestrienne with 18 Competition Championships through 2007 and has traveled with her school to Argentina and Uruguay while also working in the community with the American Red Cross.
"Alexis will bring an outstanding competitive nature to UC San Diego and she has an incredible passion for the sport," said Pinkerton. "We see her providing power and passion to the team in our bid for a national championship."
Reynolds rows as part of the California Yacht Club in Marina Del Rey, where she helped her crew to the semifinals of the Quad Sculls at the Women's Henley Regatta in England last summer. This fall, her varsity quad boat won the Head of the Marina after medaling in the quad and single scull in the 2010 Southwest Regionals, Long Beach Invite, and Cal Cups. Reynolds also competes in swimming and track and field at the high school level and is an active member of the groups SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and FACT (Finding A Cure Together).
"Rachel has terrific power to weight, and is very strong in technique and her feel for the boat," Pinkerton said. "She moved to the top of her group at CYC very quickly and we are really looking forward to what she'll bring to the crews at UC San Diego."
Bilder is currently the captain of Sarastoa Scullers and vice captain for Pine View Rowing Club. In her fifth year rowing, Bilder competed successfully at the 2010 US Rowing Association Club Nationals, and holds five state and two regional championships. She also was a winner as part of the varsity quad at the Head of the Schuylkill in Philadelphia. She has logged over 300 hours of community service and is a member of the RHO Kappa Honor Society.
"Mary Beth is just a power package!" exclaimed Pinkerton. "We believe she is one of those competitors who can spark their team to excellence by just looking at her success on a state and regional level."
DeStefano has been a successful lightweight rower for NorCal Rowing Club, winning races at the Head of the Lagoon and stroking successful crews at the California Junior Championships. Her athletic experience also includes high school volleyball and softball.
"Lexie is an outstanding lightweight rower, and lightweight rowers have always played a significant role on our squad, whether they are winning regional championships or sparking the varsity to National prominence," added Pinkerton. "Lexie has an excellent power to weight ratio, and pulls more than her weight in the boat. We are so pleased she is joining Triton Crew."
Jacques has spent two years with the ZLAC Rowing Club, and thus is familiar with the Mission Bay where the Tritons host home regattas. She is the first local athlete to sign a national letter of intent this season. In addition to lettering in rowing during the past two years, Jacques is also an outstanding scholar.
"Alexis is an incredible scholar, and it is always wonderful to have our local rowers join our squad," said Pinkerton. "Alexis will bring perspective and power to our squad, and we are always excited to promote our finest local rowers."
Women's crew continues their season in Tempe, Arizona on March 5, competing at the Desert Sprints. The regatta is scheduled for an 8:00 a.m. start time.