April 14, 2012
GOLD RIVER, Calif. -
The No. 8 California women's rowing team nearly swept every race it competed in during the first day of the Lake Natoma Invitational at Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif. The varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four all picked up two victories on the day. Those three boats and the freshman eight advanced to Sunday's finals.
"The team had a great day," head coach Dave O'Neill said. "All boats raced with poise and raced quite well. We expected to be challenged early in the races, and that was definitely the case in some races. It was good to see our crews stay internal and move away in the second half. We had a lot of boats and nearly all of our athletes had the chance to compete, and we appreciate the opportunity. I'm proud of everyone. This was an important step. Tomorrow will be a tough day, so we need to be at our best."
Strong performances could go a long way for the Bears since this event will have major implications on pairings for the NCAA Championships at the end of May. The Lake Natoma Invitational is one of the few inter-regional regattas in the regular season.
The varsity eight picked up two decisive wins on Saturday. In the morning, they topped Pac-12 foe Washington State by over 12 seconds, 6:32.5-6:44.9. Later in the afternoon, the Bears top boat handled Indiana, 6:44.5-6:52.5.
"Both the morning and afternoon races were good, and we tried some different things," O'Neill said. "It was great to be back at full strength after Michelle (Leason) and Papa (Hipango) were out back at the crew classic. I think they made a positive difference for our entire team, and we are definitely heading in the right direction."
The largest margin of victory went to the freshman eight. In their only race of the day, the novice boat defeated second-place Texas by over 15 seconds, 6:57-7:12.4.
Cal raced primarily against Washington State and Tulsa in the morning, and Indiana and Texas in the afternoon session.
In Sunday's finals, the Bears will primarily be competing against Wisconsin and Stanford.
2012 Lake Natoma Invitational
Saturday Morning California Results
1.California 6:32.5, 2. Washington State 6:44.9, 3. Tulsa 6:50.7
Cal lineup: Rachel Ersted (cox), Michelle Leason, Agatha Nowinski, Elise Etem, Paparangi Hipango, Clair Premzic, Rosie Popa, Erica Rippe, Maggie Simpson (bow)
Second Varsity Eight
1.California 6:47.3, 2. Washington State 6:52.7, 3. Tulsa 7:11.8
Cal lineup: Lindsay Meltz (cox), Becca Lindquist, Greer Uu, Jenn Helssen, Kristina Lofman, Heather Hargreaves, Tanya Wolfram, Invild Roenningen, Bridget Sullivan (bow)
1.California 6:57, 2. Texas 7:12.4, 3. Stanford 7:26.4
Cal lineup: Hannah Freeman (cox), Naomi Hester, Vanessa Gerber, Maddie Wolf, Camilla Gardiner, Anna-Linnea Rodegard, Helen Oliver, Stephanie Ding, Sage Purkey (bow)
Second Freshman Eight
1. Wisconsin 6:59.6, 2. Washington State 7:09.8, 3. Texas 7:18.7, 4. California 7:29.3
Cal lineup: Christine La (cox), Serena Boccara, Ellie Byrd, Maya Lafeo, Mairead Mahoney, Rosie Russell, Elisabeth Soto, Stephanie Kraemer, Sarah Goldman (bow)
Saturday Afternoon California Results
1.California 6:44.5, 2. Indiana 6:52.5, 3. Texas 7:01.2
Cal lineup: Rachel Ersted (cox), Michelle Leason, Aggie Nowinski, Elise Etem, Paparangi Hipango, Clair Premzic, Rosie Popa, Kristina Lofman, Maggie Simpson (bow)
Second Varsity Eight
1.California 6:43.9, 2. Texas 6:51.8, 3. Indiana 6:56.6
Cal lineup: Lindsay Meltz (cox), Becca Lindquist, Greer Uu, Heather Hargreaves, Erica Rippe, Allison DeClerq, Tanya Wolfram, Invild Roenningen, Bridget Sullivan (bow)
Third Varsity Eight
1.California 7:04.6, 2. Tulsa 7:31
Cal lineup: Lauren Chan (cox), Emma Ballard, Vanessa Gerber, Rachel Schwartz, Kristina Leva, Megan Ryan, Olivia Corwin, Stephanie Ding, Alyssa Machida