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Bears Finish Ninth At NCAA Championships

May 30, 2021

SARASOTA, Fla. – The Cal women's rowing team wrapped up the 2021 NCAA Championships on Sunday with a ninth-place finish at Nathan Benderson Park.

The Bears took third place in the Petite Final in both the varsity eight and second varsity eight competition, while their varsity four boat placed fourth.

Cal finished ninth overall in the varsity eight and second varsity eight and 10th in the varsity four.

"I think we are unsatisfied with the result but proud of the effort," Cal head coach Al Acosta said. "Certainly, from the middle of January until now, we worked hard. I thought they all raced hard here in every race. We had some great races but in the end it wasn't enough."

The Bears entered the tournament as the No. 8 seed in the varsity eight, No. 10 seed in the second varsity eight and 14th seed in the varsity four. Cal, which usually trains in the fall and spring, only was able to train in the spring this season due to COVID-19.

"The team had a lot of good energy every day," Acosta said. "We were grateful for the opportunity to train and to be together because it represented a big change from what we were going through in the fall. We had no idea we were even going to have a season until the middle of February. It was a really fun team to coach and I think we set a good foundation for next year as far as the kind of expectations for energy and enthusiasm around our daily work."

With only three seniors that rowed at the NCAA Championships, the development of their younger rowers, the return of those who opted out, and the chance to start training again in August, the Bears are optimistic and looking forward to what is ahead next season.

"It will be really good to get some kids back and have the opportunity to put in a full year of work," Acosta said. "They are excited to get back at it."

The Bears will lose All-Pac-12 rower Kailani Marchak as well as Isabella Marshall from their varsity eight, and Jackie Hendricks, who stroked the second varsity eight. But not only do the rest return, Cal should also get back 2018 First Team All-American Julianne Faralisch, who missed the past two seasons training with the German National Team and because of injury. Sophomore Annabel Oertel, a member of Germany's National Team program who missed the season with an injury, should also return.

"I'm certainly grateful our administration figured out a way to support all 30 of our teams," Acosta said. "I remember going through our first COVID testing in January and there were 100 kids in line and thinking, 'How are we going to do this?' Our assistant coaches worked twice as hard as any assistant rowing coach at Cal has ever worked to keep everybody safe and well-managed."

 
SUNDAY'S PETITE FINALS

Varsity Eight
1. Ohio State 6:27.717
2. Brown 6:30.063
3. Cal 6:32.477
4. Princeton 6:32.569
5. Alabama 6:38.759
6. Syracuse 6:42.019

Second Varsity Eight
1. Brown 6:30.915
2. SMU 6:32.107
3. Cal 6:34.013
4. Rutgers 6:34.601
5. Syracuse 6:40.017
6. Wisconsin 6:44.053

Varsity Four
1. Rutgers 7:21.681
2. Washington State 7:23.997
3. Duke 7:24.967
4. Cal 7:25.365
5. Syracuse 7:26.863
6. Brown 7:29.597

 
OVERALL TEAM STANDINGS
1. Texas 126
2. Stanford 126
3. Washington 126
4. Michigan 108
5. Virginia 106
6. Ohio State 104
7. Rutgers 96
8. Brown 88
9. Cal 83
10. Syracuse 69