May 3, 2013
BERKELEY - No. 3 California men's crew faces No. 7 Stanford in the 80th annual Big Row at Redwood Shores Saturday. The Golden Bears look to retain the Schwabacher Cup with a win in the varsity eight race for the 22nd time in the last 23 years. Both crews will race in honor of Jill Costello, donning aquamarine (Costello's favorite color) ribbons on their uniforms.
"The biggest thing for this race is we dedicate this race to Jill Costello," said California head men's crew coach Mike Teti. "We have a rivalry with Stanford, but it is overshadowed by Jill. Everyone is there for a purpose to have their best performance and dedicate it to Jill. Her parents will be there and we know Jill will be there in spirit. We want to raise awareness for lung cancer and dedicate the whole day to Jill."
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 freshman eight will be next on the course for the men at 9:50 a.m. The men's second varsity eight race is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., culminating with the men's varsity eight race at 10:50 a.m. There will a special trophy presentation following the morning of racing at 11:30 a.m.
You can follow the Golden Bears during Saturday's Big Row for live race updates and throughout the season on their official Twitter handle @CaliforniaCrew.
Since 1902, Cal leads the all-time series in the Schwabacher Cup, 61-18, and the Bears have won 21 of the last 22 meetings. Since 1980, the Cardinal has only won three times (1988, 1990, 2008).
"These are both top-10 crews so you are going to see a pretty high-level of competition," Teti said. "It is a great rivalry and we are good friends with the coaches and the whole program at Stanford. You are going to see a good effort from both teams on Saturday."
Cal swept all three races from Stanford in last year's Big Row with the varsity eight winning by four seconds (5:37.6 to 5:41.7) and both the second varsity eight and freshman eight capturing their races by open water.
Cal and Stanford squared off earlier this season in the San Diego Crew Classic on Mission Bay. The Golden Bear varsity eight captured the Copley Cup, defeating second-place Stanford by 4.5 seconds (5:45.4 to 5:49.9). Both of Cal's boats (5:52.78 and 6:07.36) in the second varsity eight race defeated a sixth-place Stanford (6:16.58) boat. The Golden Bear freshman eight captured the win with a time of 6:06.60 to second-place Stanford's 6:17.21) in San Diego.
The Bears are coming off a split last weekend, sweeping all three races from No. 19 Oregon State last Sunday after dropping three races at top-ranked Washington last Saturday.
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.