2015 men's and women's rowing championships set for Sunday
SAN FRANCISCO--The 2015 Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Rowing Championships will take place Sunday, May 17 at Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif. Tickets are ten dollars (cash) at the door.
PAC-12 MEN’S ROWING PREVIEW
The Pac-12 Rowing Championships will, once again, feature a loaded field on the men’s side. Four Pac-12 men’s rowing crews enter the week ranked in the top-20 in the USRowing Collegiate Poll, including the top two spots as CALIFORNIA and WASHINGTON sit at one and two, respectively. Six squads will compete at this year’s Conference Championships and five will have their sights set on unseating five-time defending champion Washington.
California looks to upend defending Conference champion Washington in the Pac-12 Championships for the first time in six years. Cal finished second to the Huskies in each of the last three Pac-12 Championships. The top-ranked Golden Bears have been the No. 1 crew in the collegiate polls since April 22, taking the spot from Washington, who had been ranked No. 1 for the first half of the season. This season, Cal snapped Washington’s eight-year win streak in the battle for the Schoch Cup, played each year between the two crews. The Golden Bears will look to repeat that feat by snapping the Huskies’ five-year run in the Pac-12 Championships. Cal kicked off the 2015 spring campaign by claiming their sixth Copley Cup in the past seven years at the San Diego Crew Classic. They followed their performance in the opener by sweeping No. 6 Boston University, No. 13 STANFORD, and No. 14 OREGON STATE throughout the course of the season, in addition to beating No. 2 Washington for the first time in eight years. The undefeated Golden Bears need a Pac-12 Championship to keep their season perfect.
This weekend, second-ranked Washington will be looking to avenge their split loss to Cal earlier in the season and claim their sixth-consecutive Pac-12 Championship and eighth in the last nine years. At the 2014 IRA National Championships, Washington claimed their fourth-straight national championship and 17th overall. The Huskies, who accrued the highest team score at the IRA’s, won the Jim Ten Eyck Trophy for a record eighth-straight season. In their 2015 campaign, they beat ranked opponents No. 7 Brown, No. 13 Stanford, and No. 14 Oregon State. The loss to Cal this year was the Huskies’ first loss to a collegiate crew since finishing second to Cal at the 2010 IRA National Championship Grand Final. The Huskies are coming off a narrow loss to the New Zealand National team as they head in to Pac-12 Championships.
Stanford, currently ranked 13th in the country, had a strong regular season that included four consecutive first-place finishes by the varsity eight before the Cardinal took on top-ranked Cal in the 82nd Big Row. The Pac-12 Championships will provide a shot at redemption for the Cardinal, who fell to top-ranked California and second-ranked Washington this season. Last year, the Cardinal came in 4th in Pac-12 Championships, with the varsity eight earning a bronze medal.
No. 14 Oregon State will look to win the Pac-12 Championship for the first time ever this Sunday. The Beavers finished in third place last year with three out of four Beaver crews earning bronze medals. Their 2015 season has been filled with tough competitions against highly ranked teams. They’ll look to avenge competitive losses to the top two teams in the nation at the Championship this weekend.
COLORADO and WASHINGTON STATE club crews complete in the men’s field at the Pac-12 Championships. Washington State finished fifth in the varsity eight last season, while Colorado finished sixth.
PAC-12 WOMEN’S ROWING PREVIEW
The women’s competition promises to be as competitive as ever, as six Pac-12 teams are ranked among the top 20 in the CRCA/USRowing Coaches Poll, including four in the top 10 and two in the top five. Sixth-ranked STANFORD will look to repeat as Pac-12 Champions, but plenty of other teams, including No. 2 WASHINGTON and No. 4 CALIFORNIA, will be fighting for the 2015 Pac-12 Rowing Championship on Sunday, May 17.
Washington, the No. 2 team in the nation, comes into Pac-12 Championships fresh off a Windermere Cup victory over No. 3 Virginia. The Huskies worked their way steadily up the polls throughout the 2015 season to make it to the No. 2 ranking heading into Pac-12 Championships after starting the season ranked No. 7. During the 2015 season, the Huskies split with No. 4 Cal and No. 6 Stanford and swept No. 7 WASHINGTON STATE. Washington came in second at last year’s Pac-12 Championships and will look to win the title for the first time since 2003.
Fourth-ranked California came in third in the 2014 Pac-12 Championships, marking the first time the Golden Bears did not come away with the title since 2007. Cal had previously won six Pac-12 Championships in a row and claimed the title nine times between 2004 and 2013. Cal was ranked in the top three most of the season before slipping to No. 4 heading into Pac-12 Championships. The Golden Bears hold the top seed in the varsity eight and third varsity eight races, and the second seed in the second varsity eight. Cal’s varsity eight is undefeated this season, as the Bears come off a win over Stanford at the 82nd Big Row.
Sixth-ranked Stanford is looking to repeat as Pac-12 champions after winning the title in 2014 for the first time ever. Before winning the championship last season, the Cardinal had come in second place seven different times. Stanford has been very successful in the varsity eight this year, winning five races so far this season. They’ll be the No. 2 seed in the varsity eight for Pac-12 Championships.
No. 7 Washington State is coming off a sweep of OREGON STATE and No. 17 UCLA en route to claiming their sixth consecutive Winchell Cup on May 2. The Cougars’ current No. 7 ranking is the highest they’ve been ranked since 2008. Washington State will look to improve on their Pac-12 Championship performance after coming in sixth last season and having never won a Pac-12 title.
USC, currently ranked 14th in the country, finished fifth in last year’s Pac-12 Championships and will look to win their first championship since 2007. The Trojans started off the season by winning a fifth straight Jessop-Whittier Cup at the San Diego Crew Classic on March 29. They also earned a 14th straight dual victory over crosstown rival UCLA on April 11 and are coming off a strong showing against No. 8 Princeton.
No. 17 UCLA has not won the Pac-12 Championship since 1991. The Bruins came in fourth at last year’s conference championship, with both the second varsity eight and novice eight coming in second place. UCLA came in second in a tri-race against No. 7 Washington State and Oregon State, defeating the Beavers but falling short of the Cougars.
Oregon State fell out of the top-20 rankings late in the season, but is first in the others receiving votes category. The Beavers came in seventh place in the 2014 Pac-12 Championship and have never won the Pac-12 title. Oregon State’s best showing of the season came in the Oregon State Classic where they defeated both then-No.17 Louisville and Minnesota.