Men's Crew Wins Fifth-Straight Pac-10 Title
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  05/19/2002

May 19, 2002

The No. 2 ranked Cal men's varsity came from four seats down in the last 500 meters of the race to upset the No. 1 Washington Huskies and claim its fifth-consecutive Pac-10 Rowing Championship on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova California, May 19. The nine-tenths second victory came three weeks after the Bears suffered their first loss since June 1998 to the same Washington crew.

"It was a really courageous race," said coach Stephen Gladstone. "Great, great race! Poised, stayed steady, and just a phenomenal finish. It was one of the best races I've ever been involved in as a coach."

In the varsity grand final. Washington came off the line high and hard taking a two-second advantage over the Bears as the crews crossed the 500-meter mark. The Bears edged back during the second 500 to close within a half boat length at the midway point. Over the third 500, the crews raced stroke for stroke neither willing to yield and inch. However the last quarter of the race was different as the Bears turned 1:27.68 in the final 500 meters-2.5 seconds better than the Huskies split. Oregon State finished third, Stanford fourth, Davis fifth and Western Washington sixth.

"I think it was a fantastic race," said Cal stroke Jeff Nalty. "In the first 500 meters we just focused on our boat and didn't over do it. Washington got almost a length on us but we just said, 'No way. This is our race.' We just wound it up and took it home in the last 500 meters."

"It was the most courageous race I've ever been a part of," said coxswain Michael Vallarelli. "We did the right things and stayed in the tube. We believed that if we gave our best it was going to be good enough in the end and we were right."

The Cal JV eight also emerged from the Pac-10 Championships with a title of its own. The Bears took advantage of the headwind conditions and sprinted to an 11 second victory over the Huskies. Oregon State, Davis, Stanford and Western Washington rounded out the JV field.

In the freshman race, Washington controlled the race from the early going and the Bears could manage no better than silver. Oregon State finished a length off Cal's pace followed by Stanford, Davis and UC San Diego.

In the varsity coxed four event, Cal led from wire to wire notching the Bears a third championship on the day.

At the conclusion of racing, the Bears were announced the Pac-10 Conference Team Champion and Jeff Nalty, Scott Frandsen, Ian McGowan and Ivan Smiljanic were named to the All-Pac-10 Men's Rowing Team.

Pac-10 Championships

May 19, 2002

2000 meters at Lake Natoma

Men's Varsity Eight

1 CAL 5:53.4

2 WASH 5:54.3

3 OSU 6:06.9

4 STAN 6:09.8

5 UCD 6:19.6

6 WWU 6:21.4

Men's JV Eight

1 CAL 6:14.2

2 WASH 6:25.1

3 OSU 6:39.0

4 UCD 6:50.7

5 STAN 6:54.6

6 WWU 6:55.1

Men's Frosh/Nov Eight

1 WASH 6:20.6

2 CAL 6:29.6

3 OSU 6:32.3

4 STAN 6:34.3

5 UCD 6:43.1

6 UCSD 6:45.2

Men's Varsity Four

1 CAL 6:40.8

2 WASH 6:49.8

3 SSU 6:59.9

4 UCSD 7:03.6

5 SDS 7:05.5

6 UCD 7:46.1

7 ORE 7:54.3