May 29, 2012
BERKELEY - IRA Championships Central
No. 4 California men's crew will send all of its boats to the 2012 IRA Championships, which take place from May 31-June 2 at Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J. The Golden Bears trek east, chasing their first national title since 2010. Washington won the IRA national championship last season with the Bears taking second.
A total of five Cal boats will participate at IRAs - varsity eight, junior varsity eight, varsity four, open four, freshman eight.
The winner of the varsity eight grand final is recognized as the IRA national champion, regardless of the results in the other races. Joining Cal in the varsity eight field is top-ranked Washington, Stanford, Boston University, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Drexel, George Washington, Gonzaga, Harvard, Northeastern, Princeton, Syracuse, Navy, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Yale.
Click here for the IRA Championships Central home page.
Last Year's IRA Championships
Cal placed third at the 2011 IRA Championships after the Golden Bears' varsity eight boat finished third in the grand final. Top-ranked Washington won the varsity eight grand final and the national championship. Cal's freshman eight boat won the national title in its grand final.
In the varsity eight, the Huskies topped second-place Harvard and third-place Cal by just under three seconds. Harvard just edged the Bears to the finish line for second with a time of 5:33.30 to Cal's 5:33.40. Washington won with a time of 5:30.62. The Bears entered the race as the defending national champions having edged Washington for first at the 2010 national regattta.
Cal was victorious over its Pac-10 foe Washington in the freshman eight grand final to claim the national title in that event. The Bears beat the Huskies, 5:36.13-5:38.35. The freshman eight have been victorious in the IRA grand final five times since 2000 and in three of the last five years. The win capped an undefeated season for the novice boat.
The third Cal boat to compete in Saturday's grand finals was the junior varsity eight. The Bears finished sixth in that race with a time of 5:50.79.
Cal Historically at the National Championships
Cal has won 16 IRA national championships, most recently in 2010 and the previous time before that coming in 2006. The Bears own the second most national crowns behind Cornell (26). Cal went on a roll in the early 2000's winning four straight titles from 1999-2002. The 1999 championship was the school's first in the varsity eight since 1976.
Bears Take Second at Pac-12s
For the third year in a row, Cal finished second at the Pac-12 Championships behind now three-year reigning champion, Washington. The Huskies swept all four races at the 2012 conference meet, which was held at Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif., on May 13. The Bears took second in every race.
Despite facing the always stiff competition from the top-ranked Huskies, the fourth-ranked Bears also squared off against eighth-ranked Stanford and No. 20 Oregon State at the conference regatta. The last time Cal won the Pac-12 title was in 2009, just prior to the start of Washington's three-year run.
The Huskies topped the Bears by eight seconds in the varsity eight final. Washington led from start to finish, as it did in all four races on the day, and increased its lead as the race went on.
The closest finish of the day came in the freshman eight. The Huskies beat the Bears to the finish line with a time of 5:44.3 to Cal's 5:47.8. The second varsity eight race was also close with Washington beating Cal by a margin of 5:48.6-5:54.1.
Teti, Vlahos Qualify for Olympics
California men's crew head coach Mike Teti and former Golden Bear coxswain Zach Vlahos are headed to London for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Teti, head coach of the U.S. men's eight, and Vlahos, the coxswain of the boat, advanced after winning at the Olympic Qualification Regatta on May 22 in Lucerne, Switzerland.
In the final, the U.S. clocked a time of 5:36.11 to beat New Zealand (5:40.02) and France (5:46.35). The Americans led from start to finish. They were the top seed in the final after a dominating victory in the preliminary heats on Sunday.
Click here to see a CalBears.com video feature on Teti and Vlahos.
Click here to see a KTVU feature on Teti and Vlahos.
Three Bears Make All-Pac-12 Team
Three Cal rowers were named to the All-Pac-12 team, as announced by the conference on May 24. The three Bears selected to the all-conference squad were junior Cameron Klotz, sophomore Ivan Ostojic and senior Chris Yeager. All three Bears have competed in every race this season on the varsity eight. Cal's top boat enjoyed victories over Stanford and Wisconsin, as well as a second-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships. With the Bears having a young team in 2012, the veteran leadership provided by Yeager was crucial for Cal's success this season.
Men's Crew Bear Blog
Want more insight into what's going on with the Cal men's crew? Check out the Cal men's crew bear blog on CalBears.com for a behind-the-scenes look at the Bears as they strive for another IRA title in 2012. Golden Bears here to check out the blog.
Bears Enjoy 2011 International Summer Success
As much as the Bears are excited to represent Cal and their country at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London this summer, some Bears also enjoyed some international success prior to the 2012 season. Chris Yeager was part of the U.S. men's eight that claimed first in a record-setting time at the 2011 U23 World Championships, which were held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, last July. Cal head coach Mike Teti was the coach of the men's eight boat. Yeager and the U.S. clocked a time of 5:24.31, which was seven seconds better than the previous top time set by Germany. In addition to Yeager's success, Luka Dordevic and Igor Lucic won the gold rowing for Serbia in the men's four. Spencer Crowley (Canada), James Scott (Great Britain) and Tord Fongaard (Norway) were the other Bears competing in the four. Cal assistant coach Luke Agnini coached the U.S. men's four, as well. Crowley also won two silver medals as part of the eight and the four for Canada at the 2011 Pan American Games last fall.
Olympic Hopefuls Hope to Represent Cal at 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London
A total of 13 former Cal rowers, six for the United States, have been vying for an opportunity to represent their respective countries at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, this summer. Current Cal head coach Mike Teti will represent the U.S. as the coach of the men's eight in London. Teti has tremendous Olympic experience, having been a fixture in U.S. rowing in the Olympics as either a competitor or a coach from 1977 to 2008. In addition, the past two years, he has coached U-23 teams that medaled each year. As far as competitors go, Olivier Siegelaar of The Netherlands was the first former Cal rower to officially be named to an Olympic boat for the 2012 Olympics. Siegelaar was named to the Dutch men's eight. He competed for The Netherlands in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, rowing in the three seat in the eight, helping the Dutch finish fourth. His boat finished behind the third-place U.S. eight coached by current Cal head coach and U.S. assistant coach Mike Teti. Out of the six Bears competing for the U.S., Zach Vlahos made the cut and will represent the U.S. as the coxswain of the men's eight boat in London. Three Bears each are trying to make the final cut in Canada (Spencer Crowley, Will Dean, Geoff Roth) and Serbia (Marko Marjanovic, Jovan Popovic, Goran Todorovic).
Ky Ebright Statue Dedicated at Gary T. Rogers Boathouse
One of the highlights at this year's Alumni Day was the unveiling of the new Ky Ebright statue right by the front entrance of the T. Gary Rogers Rowing Center. Ebright was one of the finest crew coaches in the history of the sport. He coached three Cal teams (1928, '32 and '48) to Olympic gold medals, a feat not achieved by any other university. He coached at Cal for 35 years, the most by any Cal coach, and his teams captured six intercollegiate varsity titles and four junior varsity titles during his illustrious coaching career.
Bears Enjoy Third Year of Cal Crew Cleanup
For the third consecutive year, the California men's and women's crews recently gathered together for their local community service project of cleaning up the local areas in Moraga, Calif. Both squads helped the East Bay Municipal Utility District clear out invasive broom (weeds), and cut up and removed fallen trees. The view the photo gallery from the day's events, please click here.
Head Coach Mike Teti
A long time fixture in U.S. rowing, both as a coach and a competitor, Mike Teti, who led the Bears to the 2010 IRA national championship, has carried on the historic and successful tradition of California men's crew since becoming the head coach in July 2008.
Teti officially started at Cal on Sept. 1, 2008, after coaching the U.S. men's eight to a bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Returning to the international stage yet again in 2012, Teti will serve as an assistant coach for the U.S. at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, coaching the men's eight.
Last summer, Teti enjoyed more success at the international level. He coached the U.S. men's eight that claimed first in a record-setting time (5:24.31) at the 2011 U23 World Championships in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Teti guided Cal's varsity eight to a third-place finish at the IRA national championships and second place at the Pac-10 championships in 2011. Under the tutelage of Teti, Samuel Walker was named the Pac-10 Athlete of the Year last season, while Dane Oatman garnered Newcomer of the Year honors. It was the second straight season that a Cal rower was named the Athlete of the Year (Nareg Guregian - 2010).