Golden Bears win NCAA Championship

May 28, 2006

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. - Defending NCAA champion California finished second in all three of its grand finals Sunday. This strong performance earned Cal 66 points in the team competition, the same total as Brown; with a higher position in the varsity eight race Cal defeated Brown to win a second consecutive NCAA team championship.

'Last (Saturday) night we talked as a team and knew we could come in first or fifth depending on what each boat did,' said Cal Head Coach Dave O'Neill. 'The way we were looking at the races, it would be Cal and Brown competing for the National Championship. Every crew knew what they were had to do against Brown.'

In its varsity four grand final, the Golden Bears finished second, less than half a second ahead of Ohio State. Brown (7:41.1030) finished first, nearly four full seconds ahead of Cal. California (7:45.3500) claimed second place, followed closely by Ohio State (7:45.7800). Washington State (7:46.0910), Washington (7:49.3350), and Michigan State (7:54.0320) rounded out the field.

After qualifying for the grand final by winning their repechage heat the Cal second varsity eight fell to Brown. The Brown Bears (6:48.7680) finished nearly six full seconds ahead of Cal. The Golden Bears (6:54.3760) narrowly edged out Wisconsin (6:54.6660). Ohio State (6:55.9680), Washington State (6:56.0790) and Princeton (7:00.4750) finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

After Brown and California places first and second respectively in both the varsity four and second varsity eight events, Cal had to finish ahead of Brown in the varsity eight race to claim the overall championship. And the Bears did just that.

'On the varsity eight, we knew Princeton had a very good varsity eight and we expected them to have a length or more after 500 meters,' O'Neill said. 'Our varsity eight was not allowed to race Princeton until the 1000 meter mark because we would be sacrificing the team goal of winning the national championship. We raced hard against Brown and did what we had to do.'

The varsity eight grand final featured the top three crew teams and five of the top seven ranked teams in the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/USRowing poll. The No. 1 Princeton Tigers (6:36.8510) finished first ahead of the second place No. 2 ranked Golden Bears (6:43.2600). No. 6 Brown (6:43.5210), winners of the previous two grand finals, finished third, less than half a second behind Cal. No. 3 Washington State (6:48.0670), No. 7 Ohio State (6:49.3190) and No. 17t Michigan State (6:51.2220) rounded out the field.

The win gives the Bears its third NCAA women's team crown in school history; the only other sport to capture such a title is the softball team, 2002 CAA Women's College World Series champions. This is the Cal women's crew team its third national championship, the first coming under the AIAW (the predecessor to the NCAA), and the second coming last year.

2006 NCAA Women's Rowing Championships
Results - Day Three, May 28
Mercer Lake; West Windsor, NJ

Varsity Four Petite Final (Places 7-12)

1. Princeton 7:49.3430; 2. Wisconsin 7:53.4180; 3. Stanford 7:57.0340; 4. Yale 7:57.6850; 5. Notre Dame 8:01.9610; 6. Tennessee 8:03.4330.

Varsity Four Grand Final (Places 1-6)
1. Brown: 7:41.1030; 2. California: 7:45.3500; 3. Ohio State: 7:45.7800; 4. Washington State: 7:46.0910; 5. Washington: 7:49.3350; 6. Michigan State: 7:54.0320.

Second Varsity Eight Petite Final (Places 7-12)
1. Michigan State: 6:57.2200; 2. Washington: 6:58.8220; 3. Stanford: 7:00.3840; 4. Yale: 7:03.4590; 5. Tennessee: 7:04.6800; 6. Notre Dame: 7:05.0010.

Second Varsity Eight Grand Final (Places 1-6)
1. Brown: 6:48.7680; 2. California: 6:54.3760; 3. Wisconsin: 6:54.6660; 4. Ohio State: 6:55.9680; 5. Washington State: 6:56.0790; 6. Princeton: 7:00.4750.

Varsity Eight Petite Final (Places 7-12)
1. Notre Dame: 6:47.5460; 2. Minnesota: 6:48.5280; 3. Washington: 6:49.1480; 4. Yale: 6:49.6690; 5. USC: 6:51.1610; 6. UCLA: 6:56.3190; 7. Stanford: 7:02.3670.

Varsity Eight Grand Final (Places 1-6)
1. Princeton: 6:36.8510; 2. California: 6:43.2600; 3. Brown: 6:43.5210; 4. Washington State: 6:48.0670; 5. Ohio State: 6:49.3190; 6. Michigan State: 6:51.2220.

Final Point Standings1. California         662. Brown              663. Princeton          564. Washington State   525. Ohio State         526. Michigan State     407. Washington         338. Wisconsin          289. Notre Dame         2210. Yale              2111. Stanford          2112. Tennessee         11
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