March 22, 2004
This Week: This weekend the Bears host a number of nationally ranked crews from around the country at the second annual Windermere Crew Classic. The Cal varsity eight will take on Yale, Pennsylvania and Princeton-all three teams placed in the top 20 at last year's IRA's. The second varsity eight draws Yale, North Carolina and Princeton, which placed eighth at the 2003 IRA Regatta. The freshmen face off against Pac-10 rival Stanford, Pennsylvania and Sacramento State.
Bears begin climb back to the top at Windermere: Competition begins at 9 a.m. Saturday and runs through Sunday morning at Redwood Shores. Last year, Cal dominated the field by winning every race it entered. The varsity eight, second varsity eight and freshman eight all captured victories over Wisconsin and Princeton, with the second varsity eight beating Princeton by over 12 seconds. The Bears will look to do the same this year.
Bears 2004 season outlook: Coming off of a successful 2003 season, the Cal men's crew looks to make a statement in 2004. Last year the varsity eight claimed second at the Pac-10 championships and third in at the IRA championships, narrowly missing its fifth straight national crown.
Many of last season's squad members were lost to graduation or to Olympic training, leaving the Bears with the task of regrouping around new leadership. While only two members of last year's varsity eight return, senior co-captain Rob Austerman and senior co-captain coxswain Shawn Ghatan, it was clear early in the fall season that they would provide the leadership that the team needs in order to return to its winning ways. Aside from the returning oarsmen, last year's freshman boat has had a huge impact on this squad. Seven of those eight oarsmen return, and while these sophomores are young, they have been instrumental in putting the team on the right path. Among those returning are Peter Maiden, Vaclav Vochoska and Gary Champagne.
Complete Windermere Racing Schedule:
Saturday Morning 9:10 a.m. V8-California vs. Yale 10:30 a.m. 2V8-California vs. Yale 11:30 a.m. F8-California vs. Stanford
Saturday Afternoon 3:00 p.m. V8-California vs. Pennsylvania 4:20 p.m. 2V8-California vs. North Carolina 5:20 p.m. F8-California vs. Pennsylvania
Sunday Morning 9:50 a.m. 2V8-Califonria vs. Princeton 10:50 a.m. V8-California vs. Princeton 11:30 a.m. F8-California vs. Sacramento State