Golden Bears Win NCAA Championship

May 28, 2006

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. - California finished second in all three of its grand finals Sunday, enough to propel the Bears to their second consecutive NCAA team title. The strong performances earned Cal 66 points in the team competition, the same total as Brown; with a higher position in the varsity eight race, Cal was awarded the championship.

'Last night, we talked as a team and knew we could come in first or fifth depending on what each boat did,' said Golden Bear 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 the varsity four grand final, the Bears placed second, less than half a second ahead of Ohio State. Brown (7:41.1030) won the race, nearly four full seconds ahead of Cal. California was timed in 7:45.3500, 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 its repechage heat Saturday, 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) for second. Ohio State (6:55.9680), Washington State (6:56.0790) and Princeton (7:00.4750) finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Given the results of the first two events, Cal knew it had to cross the line ahead of Brown in the varsity eight race to claim the overall championship. And the Bears did just that.

Brown had 36 points to Cal's 33 entering the final competition. Each place in the varsity eight was worth three points more than the next position (36 for first, 33 for second, etc.). Under the rules of the regatta, ties for team awards are broken by the place finish in the varsity eight race.

'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.'

Top-ranked Princeton easily won the varsity eight in 6:36.8510. Cal, however, accomplished its primary mission by edging Brown, 6:43.2600 to 6:43.5210. Washington State (6:48.0670), Ohio State (6:49.3190) and Michigan State (6:51.2220) rounded out the field.

The win marks Cal's third NCAA women's team championship in school history. In addition to crew's 2005 and 2006 titles, softball claimed the 2002 NCAA crown.

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.
Cal Lineup: Cox Melissa Chun, Stroke Laura Browne, 3 Lou Kinder, 2 Liz Lee, Bow Erica Van Steenis.

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.
Cal Lineup: Cox Megan O'Connor, Stroke Candice Rediger, 7 Ali Seders, 6 Kirsten Hextrum, 5 Naomi Markle, 4 Lauren Nowinski, 3 Kaiti Seders, 2 Sabine Zimmermann, Bow Maggie Devine.

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.
Cal Lineup: Cox Krista Ellis, Stroke Jelena Djukic, 7 Kaylan Vander Schilden, 6 Mara Allen, 5 Erin Reinhardt, 4 Megan Smith, 3 Onna Poeter, 2 Gina Antonini, Bow Erin Cafaro.

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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