Cal Starts 2010 Campaign With Pac-10 Challenge

March 30, 2010


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This Week
Third-ranked California opens the 2010 season at Redwood Shores in the Pac-10 Challenge from Saturday, April 3, to Sunday, April 4. The Golden Bears have seen a lot of recent success in this event, as last year they swept Ohio State in the three finals after winning seven of the eight races in the first day.

2009 Recap
Cal produced five All-Americans - seniors Lou Kinder and Iva Obradovic on the first team, and seniors Elena Humphreys, Lauren Nowinski and coxswain Katy Milton on the second team - from its varsity 8 after posting second-place team finishes in both the NCAA and Pac-10 championships. At the national regatta, Cal placed third in the varsity 8, second in the second varsity 8 and fourth in the varsity 4 grand finals. The Bears' second V8 and V4 both won Pac-10 crowns. Cal freshman Kristina Löfman, a member of Cal's V8, was named the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year.

Last Year's Pac-10 Challenge
Cal swept Ohio State in three races at last year's Pac-10 Challenge, winning with its varsity 8+, second varsity 8+ and varsity 4+ boats on the final day of the regatta. The Bears' fifth-ranked varsity 8+ showed impressive boat speed in beating the 12th-ranked Buckeyes, 6:39.9- 6:55.0. Cal also topped Ohio State's varsity 8+ at last season's Pac-10 Challenge. The second varsity 8+ posted a time 6:45.0- 6.48.4 with some changes made from Saturday's lineup. Also, the varsity 4+ had a good race, defeating Ohio State by more than two seconds, 7:36.1-7:38.3.

Mary Jeghers - International Success
Last summer, junior Mary Jeghers won a silver medal with the women's eight at the 2009 U23 World Championships in Racice, Czech Republic. Jeghers and the U.S. boat took second place with a time of 6:21.80, which was 1.09 seconds behind Great Britain. The British boat took the lead in the first 500 meters and built a 2.68-second advantage on the American crew, which sat in third, at the midway point of the race. The U.S. boat tried to get back on terms with Great Britain over the final 1,000 meters but was unable to track them down.

O'Neill Inks Eight Newcomers
Head coach Dave O'Neill announced an impressive group of eight recruits who signed National Letters of Intent last November. The incoming class features three athletes from Lake Natoma's Capital Crew - Agatha Nowinski (Sacramento, Calif.), Megan Ryan (Fair Oaks, Calif.) and Greer Uu (Gold River, Calif.), and San Francisco Bay Area product Michelle Leason (Mill Valley, Calif.). Southern California recruits include Madeline Hearst (San Diego) and Danielle Riggs (Las Flores, Calif.). Allison DeClercq (Grosse Point Park, Mich.) comes from the Detroit area, and Rosie Popa (Toorak, Victoria, Australia) is O'Neill's first recruit from Australia.

Next Week
Cal has next week off as it prepares for the Lake Natoma Invitational from April 17-18 in Gold River, Calif.

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