April 20, 2013
The varsity eight defeated Notre Dame and Tulsa on Saturday.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - No. 2 California women's rowing enjoyed a successful first day of competition at the highly-competitive Lake Natoma Invitational in Gold River on Saturday. The Golden Bears recorded wins against a strong field, including No. 12 Notre Dame, Tulsa, No. 19 Washington State and Sacramento State, advancing to Sunday's grand final in each competition.
"We had a great day as we won a lot of races, and most of the crews felt pretty good about how they did," said California head women's rowing coach Dave O'Neill. "There was a strong crosswind from the north, but I think the conditions were fair throughout the day."
Cal's varsity eight took first place in both of its heats. In the afternoon, the Bears recorded a time of 6:30.2 to defeat Notre Dame (6:33.5) and Tulsa (6:59.3). In the morning, Cal posted a time of 6:39.3 to defeat Washington State (6:47.6) and Sacramento State (7:10.6). The Bears will face USC and Stanford in Sunday's grand final.
"The varsity eight is still developing their personality, and the afternoon race against Notre Dame was a step in the right direction," O'Neill said. "Tomorrow's race against USC and Stanford will be a great one. Both of those crews look really strong, so we'll need to be at our absolute best."
The second varsity eight won its afternoon heat by more than seven seconds with a time of 6:43.7, defeating Notre Dame (6:51.3) and Tulsa (7:21.7). In the morning heat, Cal raced down the course in 6:39.7 to defeat Washington State (6:45.5) and Sacramento State (7:13.5). The Bears will face USC and Stanford in Sunday's grand final.
"We trying a new line-up this weekend for the second varsity eight," O'Neill said. "Sarah Schwartz had stroked the four and novice eight earlier this year, and she did a great job. Since they've only rowed this line-up since Thursday, they have pretty steep learning curve right now, but they're starting at a really good place."
Cal's varsity four recorded a time of 7:24.7 to defeat Notre Dame (7:41.5) and Tulsa (8:08.0) in its afternoon heat. The Bears also won the morning heat with a time of 7:13.9 to finish ahead of Washington State (7:18.5) and Sacramento State (8:01.1). The Bears will face USC and Washington State in Sunday's grand final.
The Golden Bears captured the second varsity four grand final with a time of 7:29.0, defeating Notre Dame (7:35.6) and Wisconsin (7:39.1). Earlier in the day, the varsity four recorded a time of 7:38.5 in its preliminary heat to finish ahead of Notre Dame (7:43.4) and Stanford (8:15.3).
Cal's first novice eight captured the win in its lone heat of the day with a time of 6:59.1 to defeat Wisconsin (7:03.5), Stanford (7:11.3) and Sacramento State (7:42.7). The Bears' second novice eight placed third in its heat with a time of 7:20.1, behind Washington State (7:11.4) and USC (7:18.5).
"Both novice eights and our second fours looked good, and did a great job," said O'Neill. "We have a really deep team, and it really shows in these events. Everyone is doing some terrific work."
Sunday's racing begins at 8:10 a.m. with the novice eight grand final. The varsity four grand final will be next at 8:40 a.m., followed by the second varsity eight grand final at 9:10 a.m. and culminating with the varsity eight grand final at 9:40 a.m.
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.
For directions to racing at Lake Natoma, click here.