Cal Opens Teti Era at the Pac-10 Challenge This Weekend in Redwood Shores

March 24, 2009

This Week
Mike Teti will lead the 2009 edition of the California men's crew program into the Pac-10 Challenge presented by Windermere, held this Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29, in Redwood Shores, Calif. The Golden Bears, Stanford and UCLA will send both their men's teams and women's teams, while only the USC men will row this weekend at the Bay Area regatta.

Teti, the former U.S. national team coach, joined the Cal staff last summer after long-time Bears coach Steve Gladstone retired last June. Teti led the U.S. men's varsity 8+ to a bronze medal at the 2008 Games in Beijing, China, last summer before moving on to the Cal job. He received the USRowing Medal, the highest honor that the rowing governing body can bestow, in December of 2008 after a career that included coaching the U.S. men's 8+ to nine World Championships medals.

Key Returners for the Bears
Five members of the varsity 8+ that took third place and seven rowers from the championship freshman 8+ at the 2008 IRA Regatta return for the Bears in 2009. Senior coxswain Michael Porter, junior Nareg Guregian, junior Will Dean, senior Brandon Shald and senior Janis Fontein are back from the varsity 8+ that finished behind champion Wisconsin and runner-up Washington last season.

Sophomore rowers Nick Lucey, Goran Todorovic, Jovan Popovic, Calum Wright, Jordan Sartor, Samuel Walker and Spencer Crowley are all back from the freshman 8+ that Cal assistant coach Geoff Bond led to the 2008 national title.

Additionally, five members of the 2008 runner-up second varsity 8+ (juniors Zachary Vlahos, Sean Engel, Benedict Tufnell and Nikola Zunic and senior Rhett Summers) and three sophomores from the second-place freshman 4+ (coxswain Rigel Bricken, Will Kolbe and T.J. Laher) return for Cal this season.

A Look Back
at the 2008 Season

No. 5-ranked varsity eight took third place in the Varsity Challenge Cup behind winner Wisconsin and runner-up Washington on June 7 at the 106th annual Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Regatta on the Cooper River. The Golden Bears, who competed in six grand finals on June 7, the last day of the IRA Regatta, also won their second straight freshman eight championship, placed second in the second varsity eight and freshman four races, and took fourth in the varsity four with coxswain and open four events. Cal collected 207 points to finish second in the team standings, while Washington compiled 214 points to repeat as the winner of the Ten Eyck Trophy as the regatta's overall points leader. Wisconsin (191) was third.

The Bears' varsity eight, which placed fifth in last year's national regatta, rowed to a time of 5:39.021 today. Wisconsin posted a 5:31.173 to win the national title, while Washington, which entered the IRAs with the top-ranked varsity eight, ended with a 5:32.894. Northeastern finished behind Cal, as it did in the San Diego Crew Classic earlier this season, in 5:42.399.

Cal won its freshman eight national title in one of the closest grand final finishes of the day, edging Washington by less than one second, 5:37.372-5:37.880. The Bears, under the tutelage of Cal frosh/novice coach Geoff Bond, have now won four of the last five freshman eight championships at IRAs.

The Bears' second varsity eight (5:41.350) finished behind the winning Washington boat (5:39.308), with Wisconsin (5:43.925) third.

In the varsity four with coxswain grand final, Cal was fourth in 6:24.593, with Washington winning in 6:19.964. Cal claimed a time of 6:30.322 in the freshman four grand final, with the Huskies winning in 6:25.931. In the open four, Cal was fourth in 6:38.516, with Harvard winning a championship in 6:29.779.

Next Week
Cal competes in the San Diego Crew Classic April 4-5 in San Diego.

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