Cal Seeks National Championships at IRA Regatta This Week at Lake Natoma
June 2, 2009
California will send five boats, including the nation's top-ranked varsity 8+, to compete in the 107th annual Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Regatta that will take place this Thursday, June 4, through Saturday, June 6, at Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif. Along with the varsity 8+, the Golden Bears second varsity 8+, novice 8+, varsity 4+ and open 4+ will row at the IRA Regatta. Cal's took third place in the IRA Varsity Challenge Cup, awarded to the winner of the varsity 8+ grand final, and won the freshman 8+ title in 2008. The 2009 Bears, spurred by a stirring varsity 8+ victory in the grand final, are coming off a conference team title at the Pac-10 Rowing Championships on May 17 at Lake Natoma.
The IRA Regatta represents the national championships for collegiate men's crew, typically known as men's heavyweight crew, as well as for lightweight men's and women's crew. The men's varsity 8+ champion is generally regarded as the men's overall collegiate champion, though the IRA Regatta also features an overall points winner which earns the Ten Eyck Trophy. Cal last won the varsity 8+ championship in 2006 and has won it 15 times overall.
Please see the link to the complete three-day regatta schedule above. Each day's action at this year's national regatta starts at 8 a.m., with a men's varsity 8+ heat at 8 a.m. on June 4 and the men's novice 8+ grand final at 8 a.m. on June 6. A women's lightweight 8+ heats opens the rowing on June 5. The regatta ends with the men's varsity 8+ grand final scheduled for 12:15 p.m. on June 6.
Bears Claim All-Pac-10, All-Academic Honors
Cal placed four members of its varsity 8+ on the Pac-10 All-Conference teams and 14 members of its program on the Pac-10 All-Academic teams. Junior Nareg Guregian, sophomore Nick Lucey, senior Jan Tize and junior Nikola Zunic from Cal's varsity 8+ earned spots on the Pac-10 all-conference team. Zunic was also among 14 Bears who were awarded all-academic first team, second team or honorable mention status.
This is the second all-conference honor for Tize, who along with Guregian, Lucey and Zunic won the Pac-10 varsity 8+ title on May 17 at Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif., the site of this week's IRA Regatta. That boat's victory in the last race of the day propelled Cal to the overall team crown at the Pac-10 Rowing Championship.
Cal put three Bears on the Pac-10 All-Academic first team - senior Janis Fontein (varsity 8+) and juniors Matt McLaren (V4+) and Jack Zhou (V4+, coxswain) - 10 Bears on the second team - juniors Will Dean (2V8+), Sean Engel (V4+), Kirk Halterman (open 8+), Jimmy Henson (novice 8+), Jordan Sartor (V4+) and Zunic; and seniors Jarrod McClendon (open 8+), Michael Porter (2V8+, coxswain), Geoffrey Roth (2V8+) and Axel Stelter (V8+). Cal sophomore Will Kolbe (open 8+) earned honorable mention.
To be eligible for selection to an academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and be either a starter or substitute of significant contribution.
Cal Triumphs at the Pac-10 Championships
Cal won the varsity 8+ Ky Ebright Challenge Cup in a photo finish over Stanford, with Washington third, to also win the team title in the last men's grand final of the day at the Pac-10 Rowing Championships on Sunday in 100-plus-degree weather on May 17 at Lake Natoma. This marked Cal's first conference championship since winning back to back titles in 2005 and 2006 and Cal's first Pac-10 crown under first-year head coach Mike Teti. The 2009 Golden Bears earned 67 points to finish ahead of second-place Washington, which won the other three grand finals, but was third in the varsity 8+ to earn 64 points. Cal placed second in the second varsity 8+, varsity 4+ and novice 8+ races. Stanford was third overall with 52 points.
Last season, Washington had won all four races and Cal took second in all four races, giving the Huskies the team title and the Bears a second-place team finish. This year seemed to be going in that direction heading into the varsity 8+ grand final, but Cal still had a slight chance to win the team championship.
In the final race for the men at this year's conference regatta, Cal defeated rival Stanford, 5:41.9-5:42.2, with Washington third at 5:44.1.
The day's first race for the men ended with Washington posting a time of 5:42.6 to Cal's 5:51.4 in the novice 8+ grand final, which featured a rare eight-boat field.
The second event - the varsity 4+ grand final - turned into just a three-team race after Oregon State's boat scratched. Washington won with a time of 6:26.6, Cal was second (6:32.5) and UCLA was a distant third (7:05.8).In the penultimate grand final - the second varsity 8+ race - Cal was second in 5:47.5 and Washington was first in 5:44.1.
On May 16, also at Lake Natoma, Cal won a pair of races - the men's open 8+ and novice 4+ - and took second in the men's open 4+ in the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships.
A Look at Cal in the 2008 IRA Regatta
Cal's fifth-ranked varsity 8+ 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 in Cherry Hill, N.J. The Golden Bears, who competed in six grand finals on the last day of the IRA Regatta, also won their second straight freshman 8+ championship, placed second in the second varsity 8+ and freshman 4+ races, and took fourth in the varsity 4+ and open 4+ 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 8+, which placed fifth in last year's national regatta, rowed to a time of 5:39.021 in the 2008 grand final. Wisconsin posted a 5:31.173 to win the national title, while Washington, which entered the IRAs with the top-ranked varsity 8+, ended with a 5:32.894. Northeastern finished behind Cal, as it did in the San Diego Crew Classic earlier in the 2008 season, in 5:42.399.
Cal won its novice 8+ 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 8+ championships at IRAs.
The Bears' second varsity 8+ (5:41.350) finished behind the winning Washington boat (5:39.308), with Wisconsin (5:43.925) third.
In the varsity 4+ 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.
4 Bears Named to U.S. U23 National Team Selection Camp
Cal rowers Sean Engel, Nareg Guregian, James Long-Lerno and Nick Lucey were named to the list of 31 athletes that USRowing invited to its 2009 Men's Under 23 National Team Selection Camp this summer in Oklahoma City, Okla., the rowing organization announced on May 19. Guregian, a junior, and Lucey, a sophomore, are members of Cal's varsity 8+, which won its grand final at the Pac-10 Rowing Championships. Long-Lerno and Engel are both juniors and members of Cal's second varsity 8+.
The U.S. under 23 camp will select the men's eight, four and quadruple sculls crews that will compete at the 2009 FISA World Rowing Under 23 Championships July 23-26 in Racice, Czech Republic. In addition, the camp will select boats in the men's pair, four with coxswain and double sculls to compete at the 2009 USRowing Under 23 World Championships Trials scheduled for July 6-10 on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J. The winners of these trials will also earn the right compete in Racice.