Redwood Sores, Calif. -- No. 2 California women’s crew captured the Simpson Cup in the annual regatta with No. 7 Washington at Redwood Shores Saturday morning. The varsity eight victory marked the Bears’ 10th in the past 11 years vs. rival Washington.
“We knew we were going to be challenged,” head coach Dave O’Neill said. “We knew it was going to be a tough race and we figured that Washington was going to be pretty fast this year. The conditions were pretty challenging, but we were looking to have a good first thousand meters and then go for it. That’s exactly what the varsity eight did, so I’m really proud of them. Washington pushed us pretty hard and it brought out the best in us.”
The Bears took the varsity eight and second varsity eight over the Huskies, with Washington claiming the varsity four and novice eight races.
Cal claimed the Simpson Cup by finishing the 2,000-meter course in 6:34.27, ahead of Washington’s 6:37.27. The Simpson Cup trophy was donated in 2003 by longtime Husky Crew supporters Hunter and Dottie Simpson, whose daughter Anne (Class of ’78) rowed at Cal. The Simpson Cup replaces the Big Oar trophy that was retired in 2002 after 22 years. Washington holds the all-time series lead for the Simpson Cup, 23-17.
The second varsity eight race was similar to the varsity eight, with the Huskies ahead at the start before by a Cal comeback. The Bears captured the second varsity eight race by three seconds over Washington, 6:46.84 to 6:49.20.
Washington took the varsity four race, finishing in 7:31.33 to Cal’s 7:33.23. In the final race of the day, the novice eight, the Huskies completed the 2,000-meter course in 7:02.83 ahead of Cal’s 7:14.48.
Cal rowed in front of a friendly crowd Saturday morning, as the banks of Redwood Shores were full of Cal fans and alumni. “This race is almost like a homecoming with our alumni,” O’Neill said. “If there’s one race that they come to, its typically this race or the Stanford race which is next weekend. It’s nice to have them all come out, it was a good crowd and I think we put on a good show, both on the men’s side and the women’s side. It was some good close racing.”
Cal returns to Redwood Shores next Saturday, May 4, for the Big Row against Stanford. You can follow the Golden Bears throughout the season using Cal's official Twitter handle @CalWCrew.
“Looking towards next weekend, Stanford’s doing really well so we’re going to be challenged,” O’Neill said. “There’s a lot of emotion with the rivalry, a lot goes into that race. So we need to have a good week and keep on moving forward. We certainly have our sights set on the end of the year but I think just like Washington, Stanford will bring out the best in us.”
1. Cal 6:34.17
2. Washington 6:37.27
Cal Lineup: Lindsay Meltz (cox), Kendall Chase (stroke), Aggie Nowinski, Kara Kohler, Paparangi Hipango, Charlotte Siering, Rosie Popa, Inger Kavlie, Ingvild Roenningen (bow)
Second Varsity Eight
1. Cal 6:46.84
2. Washington 6:49.2
Cal Lineup: Hannah Freeman (cox), Michelle Leason (stroke), Rowan McKellar, Jacinta Edmunds, Elie Byrd, Greer Uu, Charlotte Passot, Maddie Wolf, Sarah Schwartz (bow).
1. Washington 7:31.33
2. Cal 7:33.23
Cal Lineup: Daisy Wu (cox), Dorothee Beckendorff (stroke), Cara Bohman, Monica Van Luven, Anne Duval.
1. Washington 7:02.
2. Cal 7:14.48.
Cal Lineup: Rachel Lether (cox), Hailey Drangsholt (stroke), Danni Struck, Franny Wood, Johanna Roth, Cassie Aiello, Gina Toccini, Sydney Clark, Kendall Ritter (bow)