May 3, 2013
BERKELEY - No. 2 California women's rowing looks to retain the Lambert Cup for the fourth year in a row when it meets No. 10 Stanford in The Big Row on Saturday at Redwood Shores. The Lambert Cup is awarded annually to the winner of the varsity eight race. Cal and Stanford will once again race in honor of Jill Costello with the Bears donning their aquamarine (Costello's favorite color) uniforms and competing as Team Jill.
"Back in 2010, Dave O'Neill explained. "We decided even though she wasn't able to be there with us physically, she will be there with us in spirit. We changed our uniforms with her favorite color and raced as `Team Jill.' Tragically, Jill passed away after the season ended and we decided from now on in that race, we are always going to race as `Team Jill' and a big thanks to the Stanford team as they have fully supported it as well. There is some fierce competition on the water, but both teams display great sportsmanship off the water and show the best of what intercollegiate athletics is all about.
The event will get underway at 9 a.m. with a young alumnae race featuring graduates of both programs 35 years of age or younger. The women's second varsity four will be next at 9:15 a.m., followed by the third varsity eight against Stanford's lightweight varsity eight at 9:30 a.m. The novice eight race will take the course at 10 a.m. with the varsity four race beginning at 10:20 a.m. The second varsity eight race will be at 10:40 a.m., culminating with the varsity eight race at 11 a.m. Following the morning of racing between the Golden Bears and the Cardinal, there will be a trophy presentation for both crews.
You can follow the Golden Bears during Saturday's Big Row for live race updates and throughout the season on their official Twitter handle @CalWCrew.
Since 1976, Cal holds the all-time series lead over Stanford, 26-11. Stanford snapped a six-year losing streak with a victory in 2009 before the Bears took every race against the Cardinal in 2010 and three out of four in 2011.
Last season, Cal swept the Cardinal, winning the varsity eight race by three seconds (6:20.3 to 6:23.3) and the second varsity eight race by nearly four seconds (6:29.5 to 6:33.1). The varsity four and freshman eight both defeated the Cardinal by open water last April.
Since 1997, the Bears have defeated Stanford every year except 2002 and 2009. Cal opened the series winning five of the first six competitions.
Cal and Stanford previously met this season in the Lake Natoma Invitational as Cal finished second in the varsity eight grand final with a time of 6:24.0 to Stanford's third-place time of 6:25.9. The Bears captured the second varsity eight grand final with a time of 6:31.3 to third-place Stanford's 6:46.4. Cal also won the varsity four grand final with a time of 7:16.1 to third-place Stanford's 7:22.2.
In Cal's season opener at Redwood Shores, Cal's second novice eight defeated Stanford, 6:53.0 to 6:56.4 back on March 30.
Last Saturday, the Bears split their four races against top-ranked Washington in Seattle, with the Huskies ending the Golden Bears' nine-race winning streak in the varsity eight by less than three seconds to capture the Simpson Cup for the first time since 2003. The Bears won the second varsity eight by seven seconds and varsity four by just under two seconds over the Huskies, with Washington taking the novice eight.
Following Saturday's Big Row at Redwood Shores, both Cal and Stanford will meet again on May 19 in the Pac-12 Championships in Lake Natoma, Calif.