Cal women's rowing celebrates Pac-12 title
After a brief dethroning at the hands of rival Stanford last year, the Bears are back atop the Pac-12 rowing rankings. Cal took their tenth title in 12 years on Sunday in a tight race with Washington.The Huskies looked primed to sweep all the races, a feat the Huskies men's team accomplished Sunday, but fell short to the stealthy Cal squad.
The Bears kept in contention with two second-place finishes and one third-place finish. A solid outing for the Bears, but they were racing at a slight disadvantage: a teammate was held back at Berkeley with pneumonia.
"We had to shuffle some lineups," said coach Al Acosta. "The three-V changed, the (Varsity) four changed, the JV changed, and they all held up their end of the bargain and got us close enough. And then Varsity 8 had a great race."
The Bears pulled ahead in the crucial Varsity 8 boat race - where they are undefeated - finishing in first nearly eight seconds ahead of a third-place Washington and nearly six seconds ahead of Stanford.
Cal finished with 41 points to Washington's 39.5.
"Our strategy out there was not worrying about what all the other boats are doing," said Cal's coxswain Lindsay Meltz. "You can only control what happens in your boat. So let's have our best race possible and hope that's fast enough to beat everyone else." Sunday's win guarantees Cal a spot in the NCAA Championships, also held at Lake Natoma. "We've been working really hard all season so this is definitely our first pay off. But we still have races ahead," said Meltz. "We're just going to train really hard the next couple weeks for NCAAs."