March 31, 2012
SAN DIEGO -
Three of the five boats for California men's crew claimed first in their respective heats on Saturday, and all five boats advanced to Sunday's finals at the San Diego Crew Classic.
The three Cal boats to win their heats were the varsity eight, junior varsity eight and the freshman eight. The varsity eight will attempt to win the Copley Cup for the fourth consecutive season on Sunday.
Although Cal's varsity eight won its heat, East Coast power Harvard clocked a better time in its heat, 5:55.0-5:57.7.
"I thought it was a pretty good day for the team," head coach Mike Teti said. "It wasn't a great day for the varsity eight, but they advanced to the final tomorrow. We're definitely going to have to row better to have a shot to win this. Harvard is very solid. It's going to take a special effort to beat them tomorrow."
Not only did the Bears win in the junior varsity heat, but Cal had two boats racing in that heat and they finished first and second. The Cal "A" boat clocked a time of 6:00.2, while the "B" boat finished at 6:10.5.
During the preseason, the Bears have been very impressed with their freshmen and the underclassmen in general. Cal's freshman eight won easily in its heat on Saturday, posting a time of 6:05. Second-place UC San Diego came in at 6:24.1.
"Our sophomore class has really been strong, pushing the rest of the team," Teti said. "Our freshmen have also been very solid. We're a young team. We have five or six sophomores on our varsity boat. We are performing well with what we have."
Despite the success on Saturday, Teti knows Cal will have to race even better in tomorrow's finals if the Bears are going to return to Berkeley with the Copley Cup for the fourth year in a row.
"We will need to row a more complete race," Teti said. "We start well and we end well, but we need to improve on the middle portion of the race. This is a new crew; it's going to take some time to gel."
2012 San Diego Crew Classic
1. California 5:57.7, 2. Stanford 6:02.1, 3. Michigan 6:08.
Junior Varsity Eight
1. California "A" 6:00.2, 2. California "B" 6:10.5, 3. Stanford 6:10.9
1. California 6:05, 2. UC San Diego 6:24.1, 3. OCC A 7:22.1
1. California RC 6:08.3, 2. California 6:16.3, 3. UC Santa Barbara "C" 6:53.