NCAA Women's Rowing Championships: Cal dethrones Washington, claims program's fourth title

For the fourth time in school history, California women's rowing has captured the NCAA title. The Golden Bears edged reigning Pac-12 and national champion Washington on Saturday morning in Sarasota, Florida, capturing the team crown a day earlier than expected. Severe weather forecasts forced race officials to move the finals up from Sunday morning, condensing the championships into a two-day affair.

For the 15th time in the 22-year history of the NCAA finals, Cal and/or Washington finished in the top spots of the team competition. Last year, it was the Huskies besting the Golden Bears by nine points. It would come down to those two Conference of Champions powerhouses again. With two teams racing side-by-side, Cal was the first to claim an event title with a come-from-behind win over UW in the varsity 8+ grand final. After trailing the Huskies for the first 1,000 meters, the Golden Bears closed strong with a time of 6 minutes, 14. 857 seconds, a little less than two seconds faster than the boat from Seattle.

Washington would strike back in the second varsity 8+ final, holding the lead throughout to win rather comfortably with a time of 6:21.081. The Golden Bears took second place, a shade over six seconds behind the Huskies. It all came down to the varsity 4+ final. Both Pac-12 boats got out to a fast start, but it was Cal who crossed the line first in 7:00.798 seconds, less than a second ahead of the Huskies. The victory locked up the team title for Cal, who finished with 132 points head of UW's 128, but both varsity 4+ crews finished at least nearly six seconds ahead of the NCAA record in that event.

This is the Pac-12's ninth NCAA women's rowing title with Cal tying Washington at four championships apiece in addition to Stanford's 2009 victory.

Stanford had a nice showing in Sarasota, finishing fourth in the team standings. The Cardinal's best result came in the varsity 8+ grand final with a fourth-place finish. USC and Washington State rounded out the Pac-12 field, coming in 12th and 14th place, respectively.

Final NCAA Women's Rowing Team Scores (Total Points)

1. California (132)
2. Washington (128)
3. Texas (115)
4. Stanford (104)
5. Virginia (104)
6. Ohio State (101)
7. Michigan (95)
8. Yale. (93)
9. Princeton (92)
10. Brown (70)
11. Iowa (69)
12. USC (67)
13. Indiana (60)
14. Washington State (57)
15. Wisconsin (52)
16. Syracuse (52)
17. Navy (31)
18. Gonzaga (30)
19. Northeastern (26)
20. UCF (22)
21. Rhode Island (14)
22. Jacksonville (6)

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