NCAA women's rowing championships: Cal, Stanford each send three boats to finals

Fresh off their impressive start in day 1 of the 2014 NCAA women's rowing championships, it would have been easy for Pac-12 schools to fall off the pace a bit, as other teams gunned for them.

Instead, they took the tournament by storm and, with one day remaining, appear to be carrying the torch for the Conference of Champions.

On a sunny day, with calm waters, California and Stanford joined Brown University in sending all three of their boats to the finale. California has won seven championships overall, the last coming in 2011.

Bears coach Dave O'Neill told NCAA.com, "All three boats had good races [Friday] morning, and it's always good to go right to the semifinals. The first eight has really come together since the Pac-12 Championships, and they did exactly what they were looking to do. The second eight showed they have some speed and know what needs to be done moving forward. Our last race of the morning was the four. This might have been the eight or ninth combination that's raced, and they look to be heading in the right direction."

Despite missing out on a chance at the title, Washington State, Washington and UCLA all made impressive showings. The Bruins even won two heats on the day.

[Related: 2014 women's rowing championships official results (NCAA.com)]

Washington State also won their first heat of the weekend.

The varsity four will launch at 7:10 a.m. PT, the second varsity eight will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the varsity eight will cap three days of national championship action at 7:50 a.m.

[Related: NCAA women's rowing championships day 1: California, Washington schools shine]

Cal, which ended the season ranked fourth in the country, enters Sunday full of momentum. But O'Neill knows that their work is cut out for them.

"After the first morning of racing we look to be in pretty good shape, but there's a long way to go," O'Neill said. "[Saturday's] semifinals are always really tight racing, so we'll need to be fully prepared for what's ahead."

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