NCAA women's rowing: Cal finishes second, Stanford fourth

Denise Sangster

Number eight will have to wait in Berkeley.

Despite their best efforts, the California Golden Bears came up just short on their quest for an eighth national title in women’s rowing, as Ohio State claimed its second consecutive title Sunday in Indianapolis, Ind.

“We knew we had a shot coming into the weekend, and I'm really impressed and proud of everyone,” California head women’s crew coach Dave O’Neill told CalBears.com. “A lot of people stepped up the last couple of weeks, and the dynamic and commitment to the team was terrific. Each boat also developed the powerful and consistent rhythm we'd been working on for some time, and that made a big difference, as well. Of course, a big congratulations goes to Ohio State. Winning both eights with some great crews in the field is quite impressive."

[Related: Cal, Stanford each send three boats to finals]

Cal’s varsity finished first, ahead of rival Stanford, helping to ease the sting – albeit slightly – of coming so close to another national title.

"The first eight raced really hard, and I could not be more proud of them,” O’Neill said. “They got better and better the last couple of weeks, and it was great to see them on the podium."

Stanford finished fourth overall, helping the Pac-12 to a strong overall finish.

Stanford coach Yasmin Farooq told GoStanford.com, “Last year we watched the grand finals from the side of the course. To get all three boats back in action for trophies and in contention for a national title in one short year is a testament to the commitment these women made to being a better team. It’s been a privilege to coach them and I’m confident they left it all out there today.”

[Related: Washington men win fourth consecutive IRA championship]

With Sunday’s result, Stanford has now placed with a trophy for the fourth time in the past six years. The Cardinal was in contention for the team championship until the final varsity eight of the day, when it trailed Ohio State 60-59, with Cal one point behind. But Ohio State would win the heat, locking up its title.

Ohio State becomes the first team since Brown, who finished third Sunday, to repeat. Brown did so in 2007-2008.

Ohio State claimed 126 points to nudge out Cal, which finished with 118. Cal finished third in the second varsity eight behind the Buckeyes and Brown.

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