Bears Open 2006 Season This Weekend
March 8, 2006
This Week: The defending NCAA champion California Golden Bears women's crew team will begin their 2006 season in dual races against the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser and UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, March 12 at Redwood Shores. The first inter-squad race is set to begin at 9 a.m. PST.
'Everyone is excited to get out and race,' said Cal head coach Dave O'Neill. 'The training has gone very well, and this race will be an important step in our preparation for the rest of the season. The programs we are racing will provide a great challenge for us, so we need to be fully prepared.'
11:00 am Cal WV8 vs. UBC WV8
11:10 am Cal W3V8 vs. UCSB WV8
11:20 am Cal WN8 vs. UCSB WN8
11:40 am Cal W2V8 vs. Simon Fraser WV8
Bears versus British Columbia in 2005: Last year, Cal beat British Columbia in all races. All of Cal's boats rowed to open water victories, including the novice eight finishing 27 seconds ahead of the Thunderbirds.
2006 Season Outlook: With 14 returning letterwinners from last year's NCAA Champion squad, the Bears have the experience they need to be successful again this year. Building upon the success in 2005, which included winning the Pac-10 Championship and the program's first ever NCAA Championship, Cal enters the season with renewed energy and a commitment to repeat as national champions.
Leading the way for the Bears are senior co-captains Gina Antonini and Kaylan Vander Schilden. Antonini, a former member of the Saint Ignatius College Prepatory crew team, joins the varsity eight for her final year with the Bears. Having spent the previous three years in the varsity eight, Vander Schilden, a former Canadian national team member from Victoria, has proven her skill and value to the team.
2005 Season Review: Cal claimed its first ever women's rowing team NCAA championships in 2005. The Varsity eight took the gold medal and the second varsity eight won the silver medal. The Bears also won the Pac-10 Championships for the second consecutive year with the varsity eight and second varsity eight boats finishing first in their respective races and the novice eight placing second.