Rowing Oakland

When they compete July 28

Nichols, 34, found a willing partner in Hedstrom, 26, last year. Since then they have developed a winning partnership in the women's lightweight pairs. "Last year we just jumped in the boat together and had to go overseas and compete," said Hedstrom, who rowed at Wisconsin. "We feel like we've had the full year of preparation." Nichols, who grew up in Livermore and rowed at Cal, also sounded optimistic. "It's great to have all the experience from last year," she said. "We know what to expect." They live near the California Rowing Club in Oakland where they train under Cal coach Dave O'Neill. Nichols, who has been with the U.S. national team for nine years, is pursuing a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from UCLA. Hedstrom, who grew up in Concord, Mass., has been a vagabond since graduating from Wisconsin in 2008. "You can't really complain when you're moving from Wisconsin to California," she said of the latest change.

OTHER ROWERS WITH BAY AREA CONNECTIONS

Lightweight Women's Double Sculls Kate Bertko, Oakland; Elle Logan, Stanford; Erin Cafaro, Cal; Kara Kohler, Cal/Clayton