GOLD RIVER, Calif. – No. 4 California totaled 32.0 points to finish third overall at the Pac-12 Championships Sunday morning in Gold River at Lake Natoma. The Golden Bears broke their six-year winning streak at the conference championships, but have still claimed nine of the past 11 Pac-12 titles.
Cal placed third in the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four races, with a fourth place finish in the novice eight, putting them on the podium for a bronze-medal team finish. Stanford claimed first-place overall, with victories in the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four. The Huskies captured the novice eight title and took second in the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four contests.
“We knew coming in that the Pac-12 is tough,” head coach Dave O’Neill said. “We’ve won this six years in a row and nine out of the last ten, and looking back it’s been a really good run. We had good races, but I think we could’ve done some things better. I think we got the results we deserved, and we’re looking forward to the next couple of weeks to turn things around.”
In the varsity eight race, Cal made a late surge, but ultimately wasn’t able to close the gap with first-place Stanford and second-place Washington. The Bears were in the fourth place position with 1,000 meters to go, but quickly passed UCLA to move into third. With 750 meters remaining, Stanford held a four-seat lead over USC, while Cal and Washington began to close in. Both the Huskies and Bears passed the Trojans, as Washington was able to outlast Cal, giving the Bears a bronze medal finish in 6:22.5.
In the second varsity eight race, Stanford, UCLA and Cal battled for the lead position in the first 1,000-meters. In the second 1,000, the Cardinal and Bruins claimed their first and second-place spots, while the fourth-place Huskies began to make a run on Cal. The Bears were able to hold off Washington and secured a bronze medal finish in 6:39.2
Cal’s varsity four began the race strong, keeping pace with first and second-place Stanford and Washington. With 500 meters to go, the Cardinal and Huskies began to pick up their stroke rates to separate from the pack, but the Bears held on to claim a bronze medal in 7:19.8.
The Bears’ novice eight boat held pace with top-three Washington, UCLA, and Stanford for much of the race, but wasn’t able to secure a podium finish. Cal completed the 2,000-meter course in 7:02.8 to finish fourth behind the Huskies (6:49.8), Bruins (6:54.8) and Cardinal (7:01.8).
“Sometimes when you get used to success, you can take it for granted,” O’Neill said. “We have to realize that there are other people who are training really hard and going out there with that killer instinct. We were good, but not great. I think we’ve had our sights set on NCAAs the entire year, so we have to attack every practice we have left.”
The Bears will find out their seeding in the NCAA Championships during Tuesday’s selection show, for the event May 30 - June 1 in Indianapolis, Ind. Fans can watch the selection show on May 20 at 2 p.m. PT on NCAA.com.
Final Team Standings 1. Stanford 44.5 2. Washington 35.5 3. California 32.0 4. UCLA 27.0 5. USC 18.5 6. Washington State 17.5 7. Oregon State 7.0
Varsity Eight 1. Stanford 6:20.8 2. Washington 6:21.9 3. California 6:22.5 4. USC 6:24.9 5. UCLA 6:29.5 6. Washington State 6:30.8 7. Oregon State 6:31.0 Cal Lineup: Lindsay Meltz (cox), Aggie Nowinski (stroke), Kendall Chase, Paparangi Hipango, Kara Kohler, Rosie Popa, Inger Kavlie, Ingvild Roenningen, Michelle Leason (bow)
Second Varsity Eight 1. Stanford 6:34.2 2. UCLA 6:37.1 3. California 6:39.2 4. Washington 6:40.6 5. Washington State 6:41.8 6. USC 6:47.2 7. Oregon State 6:52.4 Cal Lineup: Hannah Freeman (cox), Rowan McKellar (stroke), Greer Uu, Jacinta Edmunds, Charlotte Siering, Dorothee Beckendorff, Maddie Wolf, Ellie Byrd, Danni Struck (bow).
Varsity Four 1. Stanford 7:13.2 2. Washington 7:17.1 3. California 7:19.8 4. Washington State 7:30.5 5. UCLA 7:33.5 6. USC 7:35.8 7. Oregon State 7:47.4 Cal Lineup: Mary Thomas-Meyer (cox), Sarah Schwartz, Cara Bohman, Charlotte Passot, Stephanie Kraemer (bow).
Novice Eight 1. Washington 6:49.8 2. UCLA 6:54.8 3. Stanford 7:01.8 4. California 7:02.8 5. Washington State 7:09.9 6. Oregon State 7:14.9 7. USC 7:19.8 Cal Lineup: Daisy Wu (cox), Franny Wood (stroke), Kendall Ritter, Hailey Drangsholt, Gina Toccini, Shelby Schwerm, Cassie Aiello, Johanna Roth, Christi Abboud (bow)