California Claims Men's and Women's Pac-10 Rowing Championship

May 14, 2006

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They don't call them the 'Golden' Bears for nothing. For the second straight year, the University of California, Berkeley, dominated the Pac-10 Championships on the men's and women's side, both winning first place in overall team scores. The team received seven gold medals as a school in eight total grand final events.

'Cal's program is very strong, both the men and women,' said Dan Casaca, junior captain of Cal's Varsity Eight squad. 'We don't come out thinking we're going to win. We work hard to make sure that we do win.'

It was the women's third Pac-10 title in a row, as the Bears came into the championships at Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif. on May 14 as not only defending Pac-10 champions, but defending NCAA national champions. The team victory set the stage for another run at the national title, which will be held in New Jersey later this month.

'It feels good,' said senior Liz Lee, a rower on California's Varsity Four squad. 'Our work from the season came together. We had a good race and are looking to head to New Jersey. We didn't come in with many expectations because we knew we were going against great teams. We just focused on ourselves and did our own thing.'

The Lady Bears scored 79 total team points to take first over second place Washington State University, who had 67 points. The University of Washington finished third with 59 points, the University of Southern California was fourth with 51 points (and the tiebreaker over Stanford), Stanford University was fifth with 51 points, the University of California, Los Angeles was sixth with 48 points, and Oregon State University was seventh with 37 points.

The women's team won the Varsity Four event with a time of 7:23.4, the Second Varsity Eight with a time of 6:40.4 and the Varsity Eight with a time of 6:29.0 (narrowly edging WSU by nine-tenths of a second).

The men's team also dominated, winning all four finals events it competed in to earn its second straight Pac-10 title with 72 team points. Washington finished second with 59 points, OSU was third with 46 points, Stanford was fourth with 43 points, USC was fifth with 26 points, WSU was sixth with 18 points, UCLA was seventh with 14 points and Oregon was eighth with five points.

The men's squad won the Varsity Four race with a time of 6:28.1, the Freshman/Novice Eight with a time of 5:43.0, the Second Varsity Eight with a time of 5:52.7 and the Varsity Eight with a time of 5:39.4.

'We worked hard for this,' Casaca said. 'Every other race is just practice for this and for the (national championships). We work on moving our boats inch by inch to cross the finish line first, hopefully. There was pressure on us coming in, but we try to stay poised because distractions just slow you down.'

Other schools invited to compete, but who are not in the Pac-10, also left a mark. Gonzaga University, of the West Coast Conference, made a splash Sunday, stealing the women's Novice Eight grand final with a time of 6:48.1 to give Cal its only defeat of the day. Other schools participating included the California State University, Sacramento, Loyola Marymount University, San Diego State University, Saint Mary's University, Sonoma State University and the University of California, Davis.

'It was a Cinderella story,' said Gonzaga Novice Eight coxswain Lex Lamug. As a freshman this year, it was Lamug's first trip to the Pac-10 Championships. 'It was exhilarating. It took all of our heart to pull that out. I never thought crew could cause so much excitement. Those seven minutes on the water are possibly the best thing you can get out of nine months of hard work.'

The 10th Annual NCAA Women's Rowing Championships will be held May 26-28 at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J. The Men's Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships will take place June 1-3 at Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J.

'We are hoping to do well,' Lee said. 'That's definitely what we're focusing on. We've geared our entire season to it. We're excited to go back east.'

'It's the biggest goal we have,' Casaca said of winning the IRA Championships. 'We're going to have to work harder and get faster.'

2006 Pac-10 Rowing ChampionshipsSunday, May 14, 2006Lake Natoma - Gold River, CaliforniaTEAM  RESULTS

Women1. CAL 792. WSU 673. WASH 594. USC 515. STAN 516. UCLA 487. OSU 37

*USC wins the tie-breaker with Stanford due to a higher finish in the V8.

Men1. CAL		722. WASH		593. OSU		464. STAN		435. USC		266. WSU		187. UCLA		148. ORE		5

Women's Varsity 81. CAL ..................6:29.02. WSU ..................6:29.93. USC ..................6:30.34. WASH ..............6:36.65. STAN ..............6:39.06. UCLA ..............6:43.87. OSU ..................6:42.18. LMU ..................6:45.19. SAC ST ...............6:46.010. GONZ ..............6:48.211. SDS ..................6:50.412. SMC ..................6:55.3

Women's 2nd Varsity 81. CAL ..................6:40.42. UCLA ..................6:42.43. WSU ..................6:44.94. WASH ..............6:46.85. STAN ..................6:48.56. USC ..................6:54.77. OSU ..................6:58.38. SDSU ..................7:03.69. LMU ..................7:04.110. SAC ST.............7:06.9

Women's Novice 81. GONZ ..................6:48.12. WASH ................6:51.13. CAL ...................6:55.64. OSU ...................6:58.45. SAC ST ...............7:09.66. STAN ...................7:18.97. WSU ...................6:54.08. UCD ...................7:15.29. USC ...................7:16.810. SON ...................7:19.011. UCLA ...............7:23.8

Women's Varsity Four1. CAL ...................7:23.42. WSU ...................7:26.73. STAN ................7:28.74. WASH ..................7:30.65. UCLA .................7:45.06. OSU ...................7:49.57. USC ...................7:53.18. LMU ...................8:08.69. SDSU ...................8:17.9

Men's Varsity 81. CAL ...................5:39.42. STAN ...................5:42.73. WASH ..................5:47.24. OSU ...................5:54.45. LMU ...................6:04.66. USC ...................6:07.37. WSU ...................6:14.08. SAC ST .............6:21.7

Men's 2nd Varsity 81. CAL ..................5:52.72. WASH ................5:53.93. STAN ..................6:01.84. OSU ..................6:05.7

Men's Frosh/Novice 81. CAL ...................5:43.02. WASH ................5:43.23. OSU ...................6:07.94. USC ...................6:10.55. UCLA ..................6:21.66. SON ...................6:23.47. WSU ...................6:38.1

Men's Varsity 41. CAL ...................6:28.12. WASH ...............6:31.23. UCLA .................6:46.94. ORE ...................6:53.45. OSU ...................6:54.36. STAN ...................6:56.57. LMU ...................7:00.5

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