May 31, 2013
LAKE NATOMA - Third-ranked California men's crew opened the IRA National Championships Friday at Gold River in Lake Natoma, Calif., with all five boats advancing to Saturday's semifinals. The varsity eight, junior varsity eight and varsity four boats picked up wins in their first-day heats. The freshman eight boat and open four boat came in second in their races.
"It was a pretty good day today," head coach Mike Teti said. "Everybody advanced. So far, so good. But it's going to get tougher in the semifinals tomorrow. We will have to be better for that. We're going to have to dial it up a notch. Everybody in our boats has been here before. As much as they executed well today, they all know they have to be better tomorrow."
The largest margin of victory for the Golden Bears came in the junior varsity eight, as Cal topped second-place Northeastern by nearly six seconds, 5:52.59-5:58.43. Cal's time was the best of all the junior varsity eight heats, topping Washington's time in its heat by a fraction of a second.
The varsity four picked up a near five-second victory in its race, topping second-place Brown, 6:37.44-6:41.89.
The varsity eight edged Brown by less than a second, 5:40.98-5:41.71. Cornell finished in third at 5:53.78. Cal's time was the best in all the varsity eight heats, better than Washington's 5:45.12.
While the freshman eight and open four boats did not win their heats, picking up second-place finishes in each race was enough for all Cal boats to advance for Saturday's semifinals without having to race in the afternoon repechages.
Teti said his team definitely enjoyed the luxury of racing in a familiar environment at Lake Natoma.
"It has helped us a lot, especially with the travel," Teti said. "We got to train at home all the way until yesterday when we came up here. It's nice for the guys to be able to sleep in their own beds. It's been a very productive two weeks leading up to this. I just hope it carries over and makes a difference in the rowing."
The IRA Championships continue on Saturday and conclude with the grand finals on Sunday.
2013 IRA Championships Day One
Varsity Eight Heat
1. California 5:40.98, 2. Brown 5:41.71, 3. Cornell 5:53.78
Junior Varsity Eight Heat
1. California 5:52.59, 2. Northeastern 5:58.43, 3. Syracuse 6:01.92
Varsity Four Heat
1. California 6:37.44, 2. Brown 6:41.89, 3. Wisconsin 6:49.07
Freshman Eight Heat
1. Brown 5:57.89, 2. California 6:00.53, 3. Princeton 6:10.14
Open Four Heat
1. Washington 6:48.04, 2. California 7:00.13, 3. Navy 7:11.17