Former Cal Rowers Race at World Championships

Aug. 21, 2006

Five former members of Cal women's crew are competing at the World Rowing Championships at Eton, Great Britain through Sunday, and each got off the line during the first two days of competition.

The event opened Sunday with a full slate of action, and three ex-Bears are on the USA team, matching Harvard for most representatives from one university.

Erin Cafaro, who completed her Golden Bear career as a two-time NCAA titlist this past May, was in the water for the first race of the championships Sunday morning. As part of the USA four, Cafaro helped her squad to a second-place finish in the opening heat, crossing the line in 6:40.74.

Australia nosed out the United States for first in 6:38.61 to advance directly to the final, while the USA team is forced to race in a repechage for its opportunity to advance. The Netherlands (6:61.15) and Canada (6>46.83) rounded out the rest of the heat.

Iva Obradovic is rowing for her native Serbia in singles and placed third in her heat in 7:34.33 behind rowers from Sweden and Russia. As with the USA four, she'll need to place well in her repechage to advance.

Megan Cooke, who completed her Cal career in 2001, is competing in two events for Team USA. On Sunday, she took third in her heat in pairs (7:03.76) and will next race in a repechage.

In addition, Cooke is on the USA eight that won its heat Monday to go directly to a semifinal. The U.S. team finished the 2000-meter course in 6:04.80, beating squads from China (6:09.48), Russia (6:14.99), Ukraine (6:15.80), France (6:17.84) and Belarus (6:18.75).

Julia Nichols, a Cal rower from 1996-2000, won her opening heat by nearly two seconds Monday as part of the USA lightweight pair in 6:57.71 to advance to the semifinals. Ireland was the runner-up in 6:59.56).

Finally, Kaylan Vander Schilden, who finished her Cal career this past season, is rowing for the Canadian eight, which finished fourth in its heat (6:10.61) and will go to the repechage round.

Visit the World Rowing Championships website for complete results and schedules.

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