May 31, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The third-ranked California women's rowing team opened the NCAA Championships Friday at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Ind., with all three boats advancing to the semifinals. The varsity four and the junior varsity eight boats picked up wins in their first-day heats.
"We had a good first day of racing," head coach Dave O'Neill said. "Both the second eight and the four executed perfect races. They put themselves into contention during the first half and then pulled away for open-water wins."
The varsity eight took second in its heat with Ohio State beating the Bears to the finish line, 6:55.38-6:57.63. Cal topped third-place Notre Dame by nearly 10 seconds. Ohio State's time was the best among all four varsity eight heats.
"The first eight jumped out a little too quickly and spent a bit too much energy in the first 500 meters," O'Neill said. "There were a lot of positives in there race, and the most important is they moved straight to the semis. They also maintained some of the changes we've been working on the last two weeks. Tomorrow will be a big test."
In the varsity four, the Golden Bears garnered the win with a time of 8:11.54 to second-place Washington State's 8:16.88. Oklahoma came in third at 8:20.91. USC boasted the day's top time in the varsity four heats with a time of 7:52.32.
In the junior varsity eight, the Bears took first in the heat, clocking a time of 6:56.79, with Harvard taking second at 7:03.37 and Michigan finishing third (7:08.62). Just like in the varsity eight, Ohio State posted the best time of the day at 6:50.74.
The national championships continue on Saturday and conclude with the grand finals on Sunday.
"Everyone knows that the racing will be really tight tomorrow, and we're looking forward to what's ahead," O'Neill said."
2013 NCAA Championships Day One
Varsity Eight Heat 3
1. Ohio State 6:55.38, 2. California 6:57.63, 3. Notre Dame 7:07.34
Junior Varsity Eight Heat 2
1. California 6:56.79, 2. Harvard 7:03.37, 3. Michigan 7:08.62
Varsity Four Heat 1
1. California 8:11.54, 2. Washington State 8:16.88, 3. Oklahoma 8:20.91