June 2, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS - The California women's rowing varsity eight captured the NCAA title in the event's grand final on Sunday morning to guide the Golden Bears to a second-place finish as a team in the NCAA Championships at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Ind.
With 124 points, Cal finished just two points shy of NCAA-title-winning Ohio State in the overall team standings. The Bears' final total was 12 points ahead of third-place Princeton and 14 points in front of fourth-place and fellow Pac-12 crew, USC. With Sunday's result, the Bears have now placed in the top-three as a team in the NCAA Championships each of the past six years and nine of the last 10 overall, finishing third in 2008, 2011 and 2012, and second in 2009, 2010 and this season. Cal won the NCAA team title in 2005 and 2006.
The Bears captured their first national championship in the varsity eight since 2005 with Sunday's crown. Cal raced down the course in 6:21.426 to win by more than a second over second-place Princeton (6:22.595). Ohio State placed third with a time of 6:23.197.
"Today was a complete team effort capped off by a fantastic race by the first eight," said California head women's rowing coach Dave O'Neill. "All year long we knew they had some great speed, but the only time they raced to their potential was against Stanford. We had an honest conversation last night, and they understood this was one last golden opportunity to make it a great year. They certainly took advantage of this last chance, and I could not be more proud of them."
The Bears (6:29.890) placed second overall in Sunday's NCAA grand final in the second varsity eight, coming in two seconds behind champion Ohio State (6:27.866). With Sunday's finish, Cal has now placed among the top three in the second varsity eight grand final at the NCAA Championships 10 of the past 11 years, finishing third each of the last three years before Sunday's second-place performance. Brown (6:30.149) was third, followed by fourth-place USC (6:30.434).
"The second eight has been fantastic all year, and they did more of the same today," O'Neill said. "They raced with so much composure and heart, and they were the model for which the first eight's race plan."
Cal captured the "B" final in the varsity four by nearly five seconds to place seventh overall in the event at the NCAA Championships. The Golden Bears recorded a time of 7:14.834 in Sunday's "B" final, ahead of second-place Princeton (7:19.705), third-place Notre Dame (7:21.193) and fourth-place Stanford (7:23.404).
"The four was certainly disappointed by their race yesterday, and they showed a lot of character by winning the B final," O'Neill said. "They had a terrific year, and their race today set the tone for the two eights."
1. California (6:21.426) 2. Princeton (6:22.595) 3. Ohio State (6:23.197)
Cal lineup: Rachel Ersted (coxswain), Aggie Nowinski (stroke), Erica Rippe, Paparangi Hipango, Kara Kohler, Jenn Helssen, Kendall Chase, Maggie Simpson, Clair Premzic (bow).
Second Varsity Eight
1. Ohio State (6:27.866) 2. California (6:29.890) 3. Brown (6:30.149).
Cal lineup: Jacinta Edmunds, Heather Hargreaves, Charlotte Siering, Rosie Popa, Kyndal Mancho, Ingvild Roenningen, Michelle Leason (bow).