May 21, 2013
BERKELEY - Fresh off its sixth-straight Pac-12 title, No. 2 California women's rowing received its 15th-straight selection to the NCAA Rowing Championships as the 22-school field was announced on Tuesday.
"We are thrilled to be invited to the NCAA championships," said California head women's rowing coach Dave O'Neill. "That's 15 years in a row for our team. We set the bar pretty high on our team and every year we never take it for granted that we are going to get invited. We work really hard for this opportunity and this is a credit to our team. Now that we are invited, we have some real work to do to prepare. We have finished in the top-three the last five years and I think we have a good shot again of being top-three."
The Golden Bears, ranked No. 2 nationally in the most recent CRCA/USRowing Coaches Poll, will compete in the national championship event, May 31-June 2 at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis with the University of Notre Dame and the Indiana Sports Corporation serving as co-hosts.
Cal is one of six Pac-12 crews to earn a bid to the NCAA Championships, along with USC, UCLA, Washington, Stanford, Washington State. The 22-team field also includes Oklahoma, Harvard, Yale, Boston University, Brown, Princeton, Ohio State, Marist, Navy, Cornell, Notre Dame, Michigan, Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Rhode Island and defending champion Virginia.
The three-day event includes the varsity eight, the second varsity eight and the varsity four boats racing in heats on Friday and Saturday and culminating with the grand final on Sunday.
Cal will race in the third heat of the varsity eight, facing off against Ohio State, Notre Dame, Cornell, Navy and Marist.
The Bears' second varsity eight will race in the second heat against Harvard, Wisconsin, Michigan and Boston University.
The varsity four will race in the first heat against Wisconsin, Washington State, Cornell and Oklahoma.
The Bears have placed in the top-three as a team each of the past five years, finishing third in 2008, 2011 and 2012, and second in 2009 and 2010. Cal won the NCAA team title in 2005 and 2006.
In the 2012 NCAA Championships at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J., Cal's varsity eight finished fifth, while the varsity four and second varsity eight boats placed third.
Along with the five other Pac-12 crews, Cal has also faced fellow NCAA Championship selections Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Notre Dame this season in either the Pac-12 Challenge, the Lake Natoma Invitational or the San Diego Crew Classic.
This past Sunday, Cal captured its sixth-straight Pac-12 Championship with victories in the varsity four and second varsity en route to the title in Gold River at Lake Natoma.
You can follow the Bears as they prepare for the NCAA Championships and for live race updates on their official Twitter handle @CalWCrew.
All-session and single-session tickets for the Championships can be purchased here through May 29. Beginning May 30, tickets are available on-site (cash only). All-session tickets are $40, while student and senior citizen tickets are $25. The tickets include all three days of competition. Single-session tickets are $15, while student and senior citizen are $10. Parking information is available at here.