No. 1 Men's Varsity Eight Races For National Championship Grand Final

June 1, 2001

The No. 1 ranked Cal men's varsity eight won its semifinal by a length over No. 5 Brown to advance to the grand finial at the IRA National Championship regatta on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, NJ, June 1. Tomorrow, the Bears will square off against a field that includes Brown as well as No. 2 Princeton, No. 4 Northeastern, No. 6 Washington and No. 12 Cornell. The Bears varsity will be racing to preserve its third-consecutive undefeated IRA National Championship season in Saturday's grand final of the varsity challenge cup.

'In terms of the races, today we had window or a view of where we stand against the top Eastern schools,' said coach Steve Gladstone. 'We are pleased with what we see because the varsity, frosh and varsity four performed well against those crews.'

In the varsity semifinal, Brown and Cal established themselves as the front-runners in the early going with the Golden Bears holding a three-seat advantage at the 300-meter mark. At the 500, Cal held onto a three-seat margin while Cornell, Oregon State and Dartmouth jockeyed for the third and final qualifying berth. Cal was up a half-length at 800, three-quarters of a length at 1100 and broke open water on Brown with 600 to go. Oregon State and Dartmouth challenged Cornell in the second 1000, but never got closer than a half-boatlength.

In the other varsity semifinal, Princeton led from wire to wire defeating Northeastern and Washington who also advanced. No. 7 Penn and No. 9 Wisconsin missed out on the final in what was one of the toughest draws in recent memory.

The Cal freshman eight got another confidence builder under it belt in its semifinal. After defeating the Eastern Sprints fourth-place finisher, Wisconsin, in their heat, the Bears took out third-place finisher, Brown, Friday's semifinal. Northeastern, Brown and Cal were even at the 500-meter mark with Rutgers, Navy, and Marist trailing. By the 750, the top three crews had broken open water and Brown and Cal had taken a slight advantage over Northeastern. As Northeastern dropped off the pace, Cal edged out to a one third-length lead as the crews crossed the 1000. Cal eventually opened water on Brown as it rowed away with the win. The Golden Bears, will face previously defeated Wisconsin, Brown and Northeastern along with Eastern Sprints runner-up Princeton and nemesis Washington in the grand final.

Cal's varsity four took the early lead in semifinal and cruised to victory, advancing to the grand final in its event. The Bears led the race from wire to wire defeating Princeton by two lengths and third-place qualifier Minnesota by three lengths. Cal will race these two crews again along with Cornell, Wisconsin and Marist in the grand final.

Cal's JV eight qualified for the grand final on Thursday and did not race on Friday.

ResultsJune 1, 2001IRA National Championships2000 meters on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, NJ

Men's Varsity EightSemi 11 California 5:57.432 Brown 6:01.773 Cornell 6:03.054 Oregon St. 6:06.655 Dartmouth 6:07.046 Dowling 6:16.99

Semi 21 Princeton 5:50.742 Northeastern 5:53.693 Washington 5:54.424 Wisconsin 5:57.225 Penn 5:57.626 Stanford 6:12.51

Men's Freshmen EightSemi 11 Calfornia 5:57.092 Brown 6:00.843 Northeastern 6:04.864 Rutgers 6:06.715 Marist 6:15.726 Navy 6:20.68

Semi 21 Washington 5:59.722 Princeton 6:04.633 Wisconsin 6:08.124 Oregon St. 6:08.635 Penn 6:20.166 Cornell 6:21.32

Men's Varsity Four w/CoxSemi 11 California 6:50.692 Princeton 6:54.923 Minnesota 6:57.204 Hobart 7:00.325 Ohio St. 7:05.366 BC 'A' 7:15.59

Semi 21 Cornell 6:51.282 Wisconsin 6:57.463 Ga Tech 6:58.654 Brown 7:07.985 Yale 7:25.916 Penn 'B' 7:36.85

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