No. 1 Cal Sweeps No. 6 Stanford in Big Row
May 1, 2010
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - In a battle between the top two teams at the 2009 NCAA Championships, top-ranked California won all four races against sixth-ranked Stanford and regained the Lambert Cup by claiming the varsity 8+ event on Saturday morning at Redwood Shores. The Golden Bears' varsity 8+ finished almost four seconds ahead of the Cardinal's top boat, while the novice 8+ won by 16 seconds over its Stanford counterpart. The Cal women raced as 'Team Jill' in support of teammate Jill Costello. The team uniforms and oars were navy blue and aquamarine green, Costello's favorite color.
Stanford and Cal placed first and second, respectively, at last year's national regatta.
Costello, who has been battling stage IV lung cancer since last June, is currently on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, where medical miracles have been documented to have occurred. The Cal coxswain returns on May 4 during the team's preparations for the Pac-10 Championships.
The Stanford women also raced in special uniforms, while the Cal and Stanford men, who also competed at Redwood Shores, wore aquamarine ribbons in support of Costello.
Cal's V8+ won, 6:20.7-6:24.0, against Stanford, followed by the Golden Bears' 2V8+, which beat the Cardinal's 2V8+, 6:25.6-6:29.9. The Bears won the V4+ race, 7:14.1-7:16.6, and Cal closed the day by winning the novice 8+ race by a wide margin, 6:54.1-7:10.4.
'Today was the best day of the year thus far,' Cal head coach Dave O'Neill said. 'The team was really inspired, and they certainly gave a little extra. The Stanford team is really fast, and it took everything and more to do what we did today. We talked about being as tough and courageous as Jill has been the last year. She has never backed down in her fight, and we wanted to honor her with a strong performance today.
'This was a special day, and it was really great to see the support for Jill. The sportsmanship and camaraderie among these teams is terrific. Stanford is a class act, and what they have done is really appreciated.
'We knew the wins against them two weeks ago were somewhat irrelevant because so many athletes were out sick. Winning this one was going to require our best effort, and that's exactly what happened. I'm really pleased with the work the team has done, and it was great to see them put it all together on such an important day.'
Cal next competes in the Pac-10 Championships to be held on May 16 at Lake Natoma.