REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. -- No. 4 Stanford took five of six races form No. 2 California in the 81st annual Big Row Saturday morning at Redwood Shores. The Cardinal captured the Lambert Cup, awarded to the winner of the varsity eight race between the two crews, for the first time since 2009. The Bears raced as ‘Team Jill’, dedicating the day to the honor of Jill Costello.
Costello was a former coxswain for the Bears who passed away shortly after the 2010 season. This has become a yearly tradition against Stanford since Cal first did it in 2010, when Jill was in France battling lung cancer and unable to race. In Costello’s memory, the Bears donned their aquamarine (Costello’s favorite color) uniforms and competed as ‘Team Jill’ in each of today’s races.
“It means a lot to be able to race as ‘Team Jill’,” head coach Dave O’Neill said. “Jill always made the most of every day, kept things in perspective, and saw the positives in things. And especially on a day like today, where it was a pretty tough day for us, I think knowing Jill and having her perspective will help us keep moving forward.”
Cal holds the all-time series lead over Stanford, 27-12, dating back to 1976. Since 1997, the Bears have defeated Stanford every year except 2002, 2009 and now 2014.
In the race for the Lambert Cup, Stanford’s varsity eight won by a three second margin, finishing in 6:26.5 to Cal’s 6:29.5.
“The varsity eight boat was down by open water at the 1,000-meter mark and clawed back in but still lost by a full length,” O’Neill said. “Stanford definitely brought everything they could today, and that’s what this race is all about.”
In the second varsity eight race, the Bears finished in 6:44.6, but it wasn’t enough to top the Cardinal’s 6:41.9. Stanford also took the varsity four race in 7:25.5, ahead of Cal’s 7:28.3.
The second varsity four race marked Cal’s only win of the day, as the Bears made it down the 2,000-meter course in 7:35.6 to beat Stanford (7:56.1) in a huge open water victory.
In a race between Stanford’s lightweight varsity eight and Cal’s third varsity eight, the Cardinal came out ahead (6:54.7 to 7:11.5). Stanford’s lightweight second varsity eight also beat Cal’s fourth varsity eight, 7:15.8 to 7:31.9.
“The big thing we learned today was that you can’t take anything for granted,” O’Neill said. “We have a good team, and there are a lot of good individuals and people rowing well. But anybody can beat anybody else on any given day. And we knew that Stanford was fully motivated and they were going to give it everything they had. We just need to bring out the best in us, and I think we can do it, but it’s going to be tough."
Cal has next weekend off as the Bears will next race in the Pac-12 Championships on Sunday, May 18 at Lake Natoma. You can follow the Golden Bears throughout the season on their official Twitter handle @CalWCrew.
1. Stanford 6:26.5
2. California 6:29.5
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. Stanford 6:41.9
2. California 6:44.6
Cal Lineup: Hannah Freeman (cox), Rowan McKellar (stroke), Michelle Leason, Jacinta Edmunds, Greer Uu, Elie Byrd, Maddie Wolf, Charlotte Passot, Danni Struck (bow).
1. Stanford 7:25.5
2. California 7:28.3
Cal Lineup: Mary Thomas-Meyer (cox), Sarah Schwartz, Anne Duval, Dorothee Beckendorff, Cara Bohman (bow).
Second Varsity Four
1. California 7:35.6
2. Stanford 7:56.1
Cal Lineup: Kaitlyn Craft (cox), Jasmine Rossi-Devries, Stephanie Kraemer, Camilla Gardiner, Vanessa Gerber (bow).
Cal Third Varsity Eight vs. Stanford Lightweight Varsity Eight
1. Stanford 6:54.7
2. California 7:11.5
Cal Lineup: Daisy Wu, Franny Wood, Kendall Ritter, Hailey Drangsholt, Gina Tochini, Johanna Roth, Cassie Aiello, Shelby Schwerm, Vicki Jorgesen
Cal Fourth Varsity Eight vs. Stanford Lightweight Second Varsity Eight
1. Stanford 7:15.8
2. California 7:31.9
Cal Lineup: Rachel Leather, Lucy Lotz, Sydney Clark, Christi Abboud, Maddie Kresin, Taylor James, Sarah Stoker, Micah Viss, Annie Symparac