SACRAMENTO, Calif. - No. 1 California women's crew got off to a solid start during the first day of competition at the Lake Natoma Invitational in Gold River on Saturday. All of Cal's boats recorded at least one first place finish, with the varsity eight, second varsity eight and second varsity four boats winning both their morning and afternoon heats.
"We always look at the year's experience as a learning process, and today was a bit of a microcosm of the overall process," head coach Dave O'Neill said. "While we won quite a few races, it was clear from the way we raced this morning that there were some lessons that needed to be learned. It was good to see the team respond well in the afternoon and rowed more to their potential."
Cal’s varsity eight took first place in both of its heats. In the morning, the Bears recorded a time of 6:29.20 to defeat University of San Diego (6:37.70) and Sacramento State (6:55.00). In the afternoon, Cal posted a time of 6:37.40 to top Notre Dame (6:45.90) and Kansas (7:17.30).
The second varsity eight also won both of its heats, finishing with a time of 6:40.20 in the morning to defeat San Diego (6:52.70) and Sacramento State (7:02.20), and posting a time of 6:46.20 in the afternoon to beat Notre Dame (6:52.10) and Kansas (7:17.80).
Cal’s varsity four won its afternoon heat with a time of 7:36.50 to defeat Notre Dame (7:35.80) and Kansas (8:11.30). In the morning heat, San Diego clocked a time of 7:25.20 to beat the Bears by less than a second, as Cal finished in 7:26.10 and Sacramento State placed third (7:42.80).
"The had a really tight race with USD in the morning, and we came out on the wrong end of it," O'Neill said. "I give that USD boat a lot of credit, and they deserved the win."
The Bears’ second varsity four won both of its heats, finishing with a time of 7:26.30 in the morning to defeat Notre Dame (7:36.60), Kansas (7:51.70) and San Diego (7:58.90). In the afternoon, Cal’s second varsity four raced down the course in 7:45.30 to top USC (7:50.40), Notre Dame (7:52.70) and Stanford (7:59.20).
In the afternoon session, Cal’s novice eight A boat won its heat with a time of 7:16.30 to top Kansas (7:26.50) and Sacramento State (7:40.40). The novice eight B boat finished third in their heat with a time of 7:36.50 as Oklahoma finished first (7:25.10), USC second (7:26.4) and Sacramento State B in fourth (8:10.70).
"Tomorrow will be a big test. Both Brown and USC have really strong teams, so we need to race at our best," O'Neill said.
You can follow all the action with live reports from the Lake Natoma Invitational courtesy of their official Twitter handle, @NatomaInvite. You can follow the Bears during the weekend and throughout the season through their official Twitter handle @CalWCrew.
Morning Session Varsity Four: Mary Thomas-Meyer (cox), Maddie Wolf (stroke), Franny Wood, Danni Struck, Elie Byrd (bow).
Afternoon Session Varsity Four: Daisy Wu (cox), Jasmine Rossi-Devries (stroke), Maddie Wolf, Elie Byrd, Stephanie Kraemer (bow).
Morning and Afternoon Second Varsity Four: Mary Thomas-Meyer (cox), Franny Wood (stroke), Anne Duval, Camilla Gardiner, Danni Struck (bow)
Monring and Afternoon Second Varsity Eight: Hannah Freeman (cox), Sarah Schwartz (stroke), Jacinta Edmunds, Rowan McKellar, Greer Uu, Dorothee Beckendorff, Cara Bohman, Charlotte Passot, Michelle Leason (bow).
Morning and Afternoon Varsity Eight: Lindsay Meltz (cox), Kendall Chase (stroke), Aggie Nowinski, Kara Kohler, Paparangi Hipango, Charlotte Siering, Rosie Popa, Inger Kavlie, Ingvild Roenningen (bow)