Cal Opens 2008 with Pac-10 Challenge

March 25, 2008

BERKELEY - The California men's crew program opens the 2008 season with the Pac-10 Challenge presented by Windermere this Saturday and Sunday, March 29-30, in Redwood Shores, Calif. The Golden Bears' varsity eight boat will compete with Trinity at approximately 9:48 a.m. on Saturday, UC San Diego at about 4:20 p.m. on Saturday and Cornell at approximately 10:04 a.m. on Sunday.

Scouting the Golden Bears
With a promising group of rowers, Cal looks to get back into the national title hunt again this spring. The Bears, who last won the varsity eight IRA title in 2006, feature a strong senior class that will be pushed by a talented group of sophomores. The freshman eight hopes to maintain its spot high in the stands after placing in the top two each of the last five years. As with the freshman eight, the Cal freshman four and varsity four claimed their respective IRA crowns in 2007.

Among the veterans returning for Cal's 20th-year head coach Steve Gladstone are senior Marko Marjanovic, senior Charlie Smith and senior Gordon Getsinger. Marjanovic and Smith were members of the 2006 IRA varsity eight champion boat, while Getsinger rowed on the junior varsity eight that took fifth at the 2007 IRAs and second at the 2006 IRAs.

Gladstone and Bears frosh coach Geoff Bond have brought in a talented group of newcomers that includes Jovan Popovic. The freshman from Belgrade, Serbia, won a gold in the pair at the 2006 World Championships and took home a silver in the four along with Marjanovic in the 2007 World Championships.

2007 in Review
Ranked third in the nation entering the 2007 IRA Regatta, Cal wound up fifth in the varsity eight race at the competition in Camden, N.J. The Cal freshman four, varsity four and freshman eight won their respective national titles, while the Bears' second varsity eight took fifth. Cal finished in third place with 190 points in the overall team standings behind champion Washington, which also claimed the varsity eight title.

At the Pac-10 Championships, the Bears finished second to Washington despite winning the varsity four and freshman eight races.

Up Next:
Bears Head to San Diego Crew Classic

After the Pac-10 Challenge, the next competition for the Bears is the April 5-6 San Diego Crew Classic in San Diego, Calif. Cal won three of the four races - the junior varsity eight, novice eight and open eight - at the 2007 competition.

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