GOLD RIVER, Calif. – No. 2 California men’s crew battled top-ranked Washington in four tightly-contested races, capturing the Pac-12 title in the second varsity eight at the conference championships on Sunday, May 18, in Gold River, Calif. near Sacramento. The Golden Bears and Huskies captured the top-two spots in each race, with the Huskies edging the Bears in the varsity eight to claim the Pac-12 team championship.
Cal placed second with a score of 65, just five points shy of Washington. Oregon State finished third with 50 points.
“I was proud of all the guys today,” said California head men’s crew coach Mike Teti. “It was some really tight racing. It’s a great rivalry between Cal and Washington with all the boats within seconds of each other. The JV did a great job today winning the title. We will re-group and get ready for the IRAs. This is a great group of guys who are hoping to bring a national championship back to Cal.
“To see the seniors go out and win another Pac-12 Championship [five seniors in second varsity eight] is really great,” Teti added. “They are the leaders of our team.”
The two rowing powerhouses staged closely-contested battles in the novice eight, varsity four and second varsity eight, setting up another showdown in the final event of the day, the varsity eight. In yet another tight race, the Huskies edged out the Bears in the varsity eight to claim the conference championship. The two boats rocketed out of the starting line to build an open-water lead over the rest of the teams. Cal developed a strong rhythm and surged out to the lead, pushing its advantage to as many as five seats near the midway point of the course. The Bears held a four-seat lead entering the final 750 meters. UW made a late-race charge to take the lead in the final 500 meters, edging Cal 5:36.1 to 5:37.3.
Cal captured the Pac-12 title in the second varsity eight, taking the wire-to-wire victory over Washington. The Golden Bears opened an early two-seat lead on Washington and increased their lead to as many as six seats just past the midway point of the course. The Bears held off a charge by the Huskies, entering the final 500 meters with a five-seat lead. Cal finished strong, winning by nearly six seats over Washington for the conference title (5:46.4 – 5:48.1).
Cal and Washington pulled away from the pack with open water separating them from the rest of the schools in the first 500 meters of the varsity four. The Bears held a three-seat edge midway through the race, before the Huskies made a charge for the top spot. Cal responded with a charge of its own to push its lead back to three seats as the two boats entered the final 250 meters. UW made one last surge and moved ahead of Cal as they headed for the finish line, taking a three-second victory (6:26.1 – 6:29.3).
In the men’s first race of the day in the novice eight, it was a another battle between Cal and Washington from the start. The Huskies held off a hard-charging Golden Bear squad for the three-second victory (5:50.3 – 5:53.7) to claim the first points of the championships.
Cal will conclude its season at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships in New Jersey May 30 through June 1.
Top Three: 1. Washington (5:50.3), 2. California (5:53.7), 3. Oregon State (6:06.6).
Top Three: 1. Washington (6:26.1), 2. California (6:29.3), 3. Oregon State (6:55.6)
Second Varsity Eight
Top Three: 1. California (5:46.4), 2. Washington (5:48.1), 3. Oregon State (6:06.9)
Top Three: 1. Washington (5:36.1), 2. California (5:37.3), 3. Stanford (5:53.8)