Cal Qualifies V8+, 2V8+, V4+ for NCAA Semifinals

May 29, 2009

CHERRY HILL, N.J. - California women's crew qualified all three of its boats for Saturday's semifinals of the NCAA Women's Division I Rowing Championships after Friday morning's heats at Cooper River Park, with the Golden Bears' varsity 8+ and second varsity 8+ winning their respective heats and Cal's varsity 4+ taking second in its heat. The Bears, who won the 2009 Pac-10 championship on May 17, hope to add a third national championship to the their 2005 and 2006 NCAA team titles.

The three-day championship regatta ends on Sunday.

'We had a good day,' Cal head coach Dave O'Neill said. 'The V8+ raced really well and did everything they'd been working on. The second varsity had a great race with Yale, and it was good to finish ahead. After this morning we identified some things the four needs to do better. They had some ground to make up and had a terrific second half of the race. It feels good to move all boats into the semis, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. There's going to be some great racing, again.'

The top three boats in each heat automatically qualify for the semifinals, while the rest move on to the repechage round.

Cal's varsity 8+, which entered the national regatta as the second-ranked boat in the nation, rowed in the second heat this morning and posted a winning time of 6:29.40 to top four other boats, including second-place Brown (6:32.80). Cal's 6:29.40 was the second fastest in the varsity 8+ heats. Rival Stanford won the first heat in the fastest time of the morning, 6:27.60, while Virginia won the third heat in the third-fastest time, 6:29.51.

The Bears also rowed in heat two of the second varsity 8+ race, winning that heat with the best overall second varsity 8+ time of 6:42.92. While Cal led after the first 500 meters, Yale led from the 1000- to the 1500-meter marks. But Cal passed the Bulldogs over the last 500 meters, and Yale finished second in 6:44.30. Virginia won heat one (6:43.99) and Brown won heat three (6:42.96).

The Cal varsity 4+, racing in heat one, trailed in fourth place for much of its race. But the Bears rallied to finish second behind Virginia, 7:31.29-7:33.94.Ohio State won heat two in the top varsity 4+ time (7:29.05) and Yale won heat three in the second-fastest time (7:29.83).

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