Cal V8+, 2V8+, V4+ Reach NCAA Grand Finals on Sunday

May 30, 2009

CHERRY HILL, N.J. - California qualified all three of its boats - the varsity 8+, second varsity 8+ and varsity 4+ - for Sunday's grand finals of the NCAA Women's Division I Rowing Championships after Saturday morning's semifinals at Cooper River Park. The Golden Bears won their varsity 8+ semifinal with the top overall time, while the varsity 4+ placed second in its semifinal and the second varsity 8+ took third in its semifinal. Cal is one of four teams, including Stanford, Virginia and Yale, to qualify boats for all three grand finals.

The top three boats in each semifinal automatically qualified for the grand finals; the bottom three boats move on to the petite finals.

'The Saturday at NCAAs is always a stressful day since it is make or break time,' Cal head coach Dave O'Neill said. 'It is great to have all crews in the final grand final, and that is a very important step. The V8+ was great, and they're really coming together. The second varsity eight got a bit out of control and out of their typical rhythm. Fortunately, they still had the speed to make it through, and they know what needs to be done for tomorrow. The four was more aggressive throughout the whole 2000 meters and did a great job.'

Cal's varsity 8+, leading most of the way, posted a time of 6:12.87 to win its varsity 8+ semifinal. Princeton was second in 6:17.03, while Virginia surprisingly edged top-ranked Stanford, 6:15.53-6:15.59, in the other V8+ semi. The grand final will consist of Cal, Princeton, Virginia, Stanford, Yale and Brown; the latter two teams finished third in their respective semis.

The Bears' second varsity 8+ finished third in its semi with a time of 6:29.66, behind Stanford (6:27.08), which clocked the top time of the morning, and Washington (6:28.61). Brown (6:28.85), Virginia (6:29.75) and Yale (6:31.92) finished 1-2-3 in the other semi and will join the three Pac-10 boats in the grand final.

Cal's varsity 4+ was in third place for the first 1000 meters of its semifinal but passed Stanford to take second place, 7:17.83-7:18.58. Wisconsin won the semi in 7:15.35. Clemson won the other semi (7:16.17), followed by Yale (7:17.50) and Virginia (7:18.28). Those six will compose Sunday's grand final.

'Things are pretty open for tomorrow,' O'Neill said. 'Four teams have all three of their boats in the grand final, and they are all really good. So, we'll have to fight for every point. The team is in good spirits; they're focused and relaxed.'

The Bears are slated to row out of lane two of the varsity 4+ grand final at 10:15 a.m. ET. The second varsity 8+ grand final is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET, with Cal rowing out of lane one. The premier event of the championships and last race of the three-day regatta, the varsity 8+ grand final, is scheduled for an 11:45 a.m. ET start, with Cal rowing out of lane three.

NCAA Women's Division I Rowing Championships - May 30 California Results

Varsity 8+ Semifinal 2 (1-3 to Grand Final, 3-4 to Petite Final)
1. California 6:12.87. 2. Princeton 6:17.03. 3. Yale 6:18.32. 4. USC 6:20.69. 5. Michigan State 6:24.44. 6. Ohio State 6:29.45.

Cal: Cox: Katy Milton, stroke: Iva Obradovic, 7: Lauren Nowinski, 6: Elena Humphreys, 5: Taryn O'Connell, 4: Nora Franzen, 3: Kristina Löfman, 2: Mary Jeghers, bow: Lou Kinder.

Second Varsity 8+ Semifinal 2 (1-3 to Grand Final, 3-4 to Petite Final)
1. Stanford 6:27.08. 2. Washington 6:28.61. 3. California 6:29.66. 4. Princeton 6:30.57. 5. Michigan State 6:33.30. 6. Clemson 6:50.09.

Cal: Cox: Katie Luke, stroke: Adrienne Keller, 7: Bridget Moran, 6: Kaiti Seders, 5: Kirsten Campbell, 4: Elise Etem, 3: Shay Seager, 2: Laurel Kuhn, bow: Melissa Herman.

Varsity 4+ Semifinal 1 (1-3 to Grand Final, 3-4 to Petite Final)
1. Wisconsin 7:15.35. 2. California 7:17.83. 3. Stanford 7:18.58. 4. Ohio State 7:19.95. 5. Michigan 7:22.19. 6. USC 7:26.53.

Cal: Cox: Jill Costello, stroke: Sam Sartor, 3: Kelsey Bates, 2: Katie Caves, bow: Vanna Rocchi.

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