Bears Come Up Short of National Championship

May 30, 2004

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. - On the final day of the NCAA championships, the Golden Bears could not find a way to beat eastern powerhouse Brown, to capture their first national championship since 1980. The Bears, with 51 points, finished fourth overall, behind Brown (70), Yale (58) and Michigan (52).

The varsity eight finished its season with a sixth-place finish in the grand final. The Bears were the leaders after the first 500 meters, but could not hold the lead for long. Over the middle half of the race the Bears dropped to fifth place, with Princeton, Yale and Ohio State overtaking them. Michigan posted the fastest last 500 split to catapult up to third, leaving the Bears to place sixth. The varsity eight finishes its very successful season with just one loss on the year.

Cal's second varsity eight recovered from a slow start to capture the silver medal. After the first 1000 meters, the Bears were just two seconds behind the leader Brown but were sitting in the third position. But with a fast third 500, the Bears overtook Michigan to move into the second spot. Cal pushed hard through the final 500 meters but could not catch Brown, which led from the very beginning. The second varsity eight, like the varsity eight, finishes its season with just one defeat.

The varsity four placed fifth in its grand final behind Virginia, Washington, Brown and Yale. Cal got off to a relatively slow start; it was in fourth after the first 500 meters. Yale and Ohio State had a fast middle 1000 meters to pass the Bears, but the varsity four stroked to one of the fastest final 500 splits in the field to overtake Ohio State at the end.

The Bears placed fourth overall in the team competition, one place higher than last year. The fourth place finish is the Bears' best team finish since 2000 when they also finished fourth.

'This has been a terrific year, and everyone raced really hard today,' said Cal head coach Dave O'Neill. 'I'm really proud of everyone. Going into the last (varsity eight) race we had a chance to win everything, but unfortunately we came up a little short.'

NCAA Day 3 Results

Varsity Eight Grand Final1. Brown 6:32.902. Yale 6:34.603. Michigan 6:37.104. Princeton 6:37.705. Ohio State 6:38.906. California 6:40.10

Varsity Eight Petite Final1. Washington 6:37.802. Harvard 6:38.403. Virginia 6:38.604. Tennessee 6:41.105. Notre Dame 6:44.006. USC 6:44.10

Second Varsity Eight Grand Final1. Brown 6:44.102. California 6:46.803. Washington St. 6:47.004. Michigan 6:47.205. Yale 6:50.406. Washington 6:50.41

Second Varsity Eight Petite Final1. Virginia 6:48.802. Wisconsin 6:51.003. Harvard 6:53.704. Princeton 6:54.005. Michigan State 6:54.406. Ohio State 6:55.10

Varsity Four Grand Final1. Virginia 7:27.502. Washington 7:30.803. Brown 7:32.204. Yale 7:34.405. California 7:39.306. Ohio State 7:39.90

Varsity Four Petite Final1. Wisconsin 7:32.502. Michigan State 7:34.203. Michigan 7:37.704. Princeton 7:39.505. Washington St. 7:41.106. Harvard 7:46.40

Team Competition1. Brown 702. Yale 583. Michigan 524. California 515. Washington 436. Princeton 367. Virginia 368. Ohio State 339. Washington State 2810. Harvard 2411. Wisconsin 1912. Michigan State 18

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