May 16, 2013
BERKELEY - No. 2 California eyes its sixth-straight Pac-12 women's rowing title when the Golden Bears compete in the conference championships this Sunday at Lake Natoma in Gold River near Sacramento, Calif.
The Bears have captured the last five Pac-12 team rowing titles and eight of the last nine overall. Cal swept all four races for the first time in program history at the Pac-12 Championships last season to capture the team title by 14.5 points (45.4 to 31) over second-place Washington. In last year's varsity eight grand final, Cal edged second-place USC 6:30.3 to 6:32.7 to take home the title.
The Bears came in second in 2007. Their 2004 title was the first since winning their first-ever conference title in 1994 as part of a combined competition with the men. The varsity eight boat has won 12 Pac-12 titles and eight since 2004 (2004-08, 2010-12).
Cal, ranked No. 2 nationally in this week's CRCA/USRowing Coaches Poll, is part of a highly-competitive 2013 field that includes six teams ranked in the top-20. USC is the nation's top-ranked team, with Washington fourth, UCLA seventh, Stanford 10th and Washington State 17th.
Cal has faced several Pac-12 teams already this season, most recently sweeping all four races against Stanford in the Big Row on May 4. Racing as `Team Jill' once again, Cal's varsity eight won by open water over Stanford, setting a new course record in the process with a time of 6:14.7. Stanford was six seconds behind with a time of 6:20.7.
The Bears have faced the top-ranked Trojans twice this season, with USC taking both varsity eight grand finals at the San Diego Crew Classic (6:28.04 to 6:25.30) and at the Lake Natoma Invitational (6:20.4 to 6:24.0). Cal has also faced Washington and UCLA. The Bears defeated the Bruins and Huskies in the San Diego Crew Classic in March, before splitting their four races with UW in Seattle at the end of April, falling by two seconds (6:24.0 to 6:26.4) in the varsity eight race.
Sunday's Pac-12 Championships Racing Schedule
9:00 a.m. 1 WN8: Grand Final
9:15 a.m. 2 MN8: Grand Final
9:30 a.m. 3 WV4: Grand Final
9:45 a.m. 4 MV4: Grand Final
10:00 a.m. 5 W2V8: Grand Final
10:15 a.m. 6 M2V8: Grand Final
10:30 a.m. 7 WV8: Grand Final
10:45 a.m. 8 MV8: Grand Final
11:30 a.m. Awards Presentation
For directions to the Lake Natoma for Sunday's Pac-12 Championships, click here. Parking fees are determined by the State of California for the Nimbus Flat State Park. The current cost per car is $10 but is subject to change without notice.
You can follow the Bears for live race updates throughout the day on Sunday at the Pac-12 Championships and all year long on their official Twitter handle @CalWCrew.