Cal Battles Stanford for Schwabacher Cup in Big Row on Saturday

April 28, 2009

This Week
California takes on rival Stanford in the Big Row on Saturday, May 2, at Redwood Shores Lagoon in Redwood City, Calif. The Golden Bears' top-ranked varsity 8+ is seeking the Schwabacher Cup, awarded to the victor of the annual race between Cal and Stanford's varsity 8+ boats. Stanford's varsity 8+ is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation. Cal had won the annual competition between the rivals 17-straight times heading into last season's meeting, in which the Cardinal's ninth-ranked boat defeated Cal's sixth-ranked varsity 8+, 5:42.52-5:43.39.

Cal's V8+ Loses Schoch Cup to Washington
Cal's top-ranked varsity 8+ lost to Washington's fourth-ranked varsity 8+, 5:48.56-5:50.86, in the race for the Schoch Cup on April 25 on Montlake Cut in Seattle. The host Huskies won in all four races. Washington's second varsity 8+ beat the Golden Bears' boat, 5:47.51-5:52.00. Cal's novice 8+ fell, 5:54.59-6:02.90 and the varsity 4+ lost, 6:41.1-6:45.38.

Washington has won the Schoch Cup, which is awarded to the winner of the annual varsity 8+ race between the Bears and the Huskies, three straight years.

Scouting the Cardinal
Stanford met Cal at the April 4-5 San Diego Crew Classic, with the Cardinal losing to Cal in the Copley Cup grand final. The Bears won the Copley Cup with a time of 5:51.8, while Stanford was fourth in 5:56.34. The Cardinal edged Cal in their April 4 varsity 8+ heat, with Stanford posting the top overall time of the weekend in 5:50.8 and Cal taking second in that heat in 5:52.89.

In its most recent action, Stanford's fifth-ranked varsity 8+ lost to second-ranked and defending national champion Wisconsin in a photo finish, 5:38.38-5:38.70, on the last day of the Stanford Invitational on April 19 at Redwood Shores Lagoon. The Cardinal's second varsity 8+ also lost to the Badgers, 5:48.57 -5:59.07, while Stanford prevailed in the novice 8+, 5:57.12-5:59.16.

On April 18, Stanford won one of three races against Washington. The Cardinal's varsity 8+ topped the Huskies' fourth-ranked boat, 6:06.86-6:11.36, but Stanford lost in the second varsity 8+ (6:10.95-6:15.64) and freshman 8+ (6:12.3-6:42.57) races. Later on April 18, Stanford swept Oregon State, beating the 16th-ranked OSU varsity 8+, 5:50.5-5:52.3, OSU's second varsity 8+, 6:06.3-6:27.5, and OSU's freshman 8+, 6:01.8-6:13.1.

Ninth-year Stanford head coach Craig Amerkhanian, a former All-Pac-10 rower who graduated from Cal in 1980, spent nine years (1992-2000) as the Bears' novice coach.

Next Week
Cal is off until the May 16 Pacific Coast Rowing Championships and May 17 Pac-10 Rowing Championships get underway at Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif.

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