No. 1 Cal Puts 3 Boats in Finals at NCAA Regatta

May 28, 2005

RANCHO CORDOVA - The California women's rowing team, which owns the nation's No. 1 ranking, won both of its races Saturday and will have all three of its boats compete in grand finals Sunday at the NCAA championships held at the CSUS Aquatic Center on Lake Natoma.

On Saturday morning, Cal's varsity 8 beat a strong field by six seconds in the semifinal round, while the varsity 4 won its repechage race. The Golden Bears' second varsity 8 had already qualified for the grand final by winning its heat Friday.

'It was a great day,' head coach Dave O'Neill said. 'Things are shaping up well. The varsity took off and performed very well, and the four had its best race of the year. Everyone is feeling really good and is very focused on the team goal, which is to win the national championship.'

In the varsity 8 event, Cal, which was racing out of lane one, covered the first 500 meters in 1:34.26 - more than two seconds faster than the Bears' closest competitor, Tennessee. Halfway through the 2000-meter course, Cal's lead was almost four seconds, and the Bears closed out the sprint in 6:32.52, more than six seconds ahead of runner-up and ninth-ranked Harvard (6:38.33). No. 7 Virginia took third (6:40.54), followed by No. 12 Michigan (6:45.56), No. 13 Washington (6:45.73) and No. 6 Tennessee (6:49.72).

In the other varsity 8 race, No. 4 Princeton crossed the line in 6:35.77, with No. 2 Yale taking second in 6:39.47 and No. 3 Ohio State third in 6:39.67.

In the varsity 4 event, Cal took control early, building a one-second lead through 500 meters when the Bears covered the distance in 1:45.84. In the end, Cal held off USC, which raced second throughout the course, by a 7:24.28 to 7:27.26 margin.

The Bears' time was more than two seconds faster than their heat race Friday, when they finished second behind Washington and were forced to compete in the repechage to qualify for the final.

On Sunday, Cal's first event will be the varsity 4 grand final, which begins at 10:45 a.m. The second varsity 8 grand final starts at 11:15, with the varsity 8 grand final at 12 noon.

For complete NCAA championships results, click here.

NCAA Women's Rowing Championships
Lake Natoma, Rancho Cordova, CA

Varsity 8 Semifinal 2
1. California 6:32.62; 2. Harvard 6:38.33; 3. Virginia 6:40.54; 4. Michigan 6:45.56; 5. Washington 6:45.73; 6. Tennessee 6:49.72

Varsity 4 Repechage
1. California 7:24.28; 2. USC 7:27.26; 3. Michigan 7:29.97; 4. Michigan State 7:32.89; 5. Princeton 7:42.29

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