No. 2 Bears Travel to IRA Championships

May 31, 2005

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Thurs.-Sat., June 2-4
at IRA Championships
Cherry Hill, N.J. (Cooper River)
All Day

THIS WEEK: The No. 2-ranked Golden Bears head to the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J., for the 2005 Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships Thursday-Saturday, June 2-4. A Cal victory would give head coach Steve Gladstone his 11th national championship - tying him for most IRA titles in history.

PAC-10 RECAP: Cal captured the 2005 Pac-10 Rowing Championship held Sunday, May 15, on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif., with the varsity 8 and freshman 8 both winning their races. In the marquee race for the men, the varsity 8, the Bears (5:39.4) finished ahead of Washington (5:42.4), Stanford Oregon State, UC Davis and UCLA. This victory left the varsity 8 undefeated heading into IRAs and gave them their first Pac-10 title since 2002. Cal's junior varsity 8 crossed the finish line one second behind Washington to take the silver medal. The freshman 8 - also undefeated on the year - won its third straight title with its victory in the grand final. The varsity 4 finished second behind Washington, after trading the lead throughout the race.

CAL RANKED SECOND IN NATION: Cal's varsity 8 is currently ranked second in the nation in latest the USRowing Men's Varsity Eight Collegiate Coaches Poll. The Bears, who trail only 2004 national champion Harvard, are one of only two teams to receive first-place votes. Princeton, Washington and Northeastern round out the Top 5.

NATIONAL TEAM INVITEE: Senior Troy Kepper is one of 15 collegiate rowers invited to attend the men's open weight national team selection camp in Princeton, N.J., as announced by USRowing. The Tallahassee, Fla., native and fellow invitees will be competing for spots on either the 2005 World Championships squad and/or the Under-23 World Championships team.

GLADSTONE AMONG THE BEST: Head coach Steve Gladstone enters the 2005 IRA championships with 10 Varsity Challenge Cup titles (national championships) to his credit, just one title shy of tying Charles 'Pop' Courtney for the most Varsity Challenge Cup titles in history. Courtney won 11 titles while coaching Cornell from 1901-1915. Gladstone has five championships as Cal's coach - 1976, 1999-2002 - and five others from his tenure at Brown.

2004 IRA CHAMPIONSHIPS: With strong performances from all boats, Cal came away from New Jersey with a fifth-place finish at the 102nd running of the IRA national championships. The Bears finished behind national champion Harvard, Washington, Princeton and Cornell. The varsity 8 captured the bronze medal for the second consecutive year, finishing the season with only one loss. Cal's freshman 8 claimed the national title for the first time in four years with a three-second victory over second-place Harvard. The freshmen finished the season with a Pac-10 title, a national title and the distinction of being one of the only undefeated crews in the country.

BIG ROW RECAP (4/30/05): The varsity 8, second varsity 8, varsity 4 and freshman 4 all posted wins at Redwood Shores against rival Stanford. In the varsity 8 race, Cal and Stanford were tied at 1:22.78 after the first 500 meters, but the Bears held a nearly four-second advantage through 1500 meters. At the finish, Cal won by a 5:44.78 to 5:51.03 margin. The varsity 8 won its 15th consecutive Schwabacher Cup, the trophy awarded to the winner of the annual dual race between Cal and Stanford.

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