May 22, 2012
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 this morning 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.
Had the U.S. not won this race, it would have been the first Summer Olympics where the U.S. was not represented in the men's eight event.
As the U.S. head coach from 1997 to 2008, the eights coached by Teti have won world championships in 1997, 98, 99, and 2005, and were Olympic champions in 2004 and bronze medalists in 2008. Most recently, Teti coached the U.S. Under-23 eight to a world championship this past summer in Amsterdam, Netherlands. His 2004 Olympic eight and 2011 Under-23 eights both currently hold the world's best times in their respective events.
Vlahos coxed at Cal under Teti and later was a volunteer assistant coach on his staff last season. A native of Piedmont, Calif., Vlahos graduated in 2010 with a degree in interdisciplinary studies. As a senior in 2010, Vlahos coxed Cal's varsity eight to a national championship at the IRA Regatta.
Vlahos joins Olivier Siegelaar of the Dutch National team as former Cal rowers who have qualified for the Olympics. There are still a number of former Bears who have a chance to advance to London, including Canada's Spencer Crowley and Serbia's Jovan Popovic.
The 2012 Summer Olympics take place from July 27-Aug. 12 in London, England. The men's eight events will begin on July 28, and the final will take place on Aug. 1.