May 19, 2013
GOLD RIVER, Calif. - Behind a gold-medal finish in the varsity four, California men's crew placed second overall at the Pac-12 Rowing Championships Sunday in Gold River at Lake Natoma.
The Golden Bears totaled 60 points to capture second place for the fourth-straight year, behind top-ranked and four-time defending champion Washington (71). No. 7 Stanford (50) was third, followed by No. 26 Oregon State (48), Washington State (29) and Colorado (22).
"The big bright spot for us was our varsity four which won in a relatively large upset," said California head men's crew coach Mike Teti. "All the other crews raced close to their potential but maybe a little bit below. We certainly have work to do. Getting second is not what we want, but it is not a bad result. Now that we have exams behind us, the next two weeks we will have a pretty high focus going into the National Championships."
After placing second to Washington in the freshman eight (5:54.4 to 6:03.7) to open the competition, the Bears surged within a point of the Huskies in the team standings with the gold medal in the varsity four. Cal's varsity four defeated second-place Washington and avenging a loss to the Huskies earlier this season. The Bears took over the advantage from the Huskies at about the 500-meter mark and built a two-seat lead 750 meters into the race. Cal (6:35.6) continued to pull away from Washington (6:39.4) throughout the race to win by four seconds.
It marked the Golden Bears' first conference championship in the varsity four since 2007. That year, Cal defeated Washington 6:44.13 to 6:47.48.
Varsity Four Pac-12 title race
Washington took the early lead and held it throughout to capture the gold medal in the second varsity eight race over second-place Cal. The Huskies (6:00.6) won by open water over the Bears (6:05.4) as the two boats pulled away from the pack early on. Stanford finished third with a time of 6:22.0.
Having placed in the top-two in each of the first three races, Cal and Washington were separated by just three points heading into the varsity eight.
In the final event of the Pac-12 Championships, Cal's varsity eight took the early advantage over Washington, leading by a half-deck over the Huskies. The Bears held a four-seat lead over Washington 750 meters in to the race. The Huskies inched ahead at the 1,000-meter mark, holding a one-seat advantage over the Bears. While trying to close the gap on Washington, Cal was challenged by Stanford in the final 500 meters with the Cardinal moving past the Bears and taking second place by two seats at the finish line.
Despite the third-place finish, Cal finished second overall, 10 points ahead of the Cardinal.
The Golden Bears now await their seeding in the IRA National Championships right back on Gold River at Lake Natoma, Calif., May 31 through June 2. You can follow Cal all year long on their official Twitter handle @CaliforniaCrew.