June 2, 2012
CHERRY HILL, N.J. -Full Results
Fourth-ranked California men's crew placed fourth in the varsity eight grand final at the IRA National Championships Saturday at Copper River in Cherry Hill, N.J. The best finishes of the day for the Golden Bears were the freshman eight and the varsity four boats each finishing in second in their grand finals. The open four took third.
"It was a really good job by everybody," head coach Mike Teti said. "The fours and the freshman eight all medaled. Between the freshman eight and seven other freshmen in fours, that's 15 freshmen coming home with medals. The freshman eight was outstanding, on a course-record pace, as were the fours.
"All of them were tested, and they performed well where they're the most vulnerable. They were all great performances."
Washington won the varsity eight grand final, thus making the Huskies the 2012 IRA National Champions. In addition to the team title, the Huskies also swept all five grand finals.
Still, while the Bears could not find a way to beat Washington this season, Teti was delighted by the effort his varsity eight gave in the grand final and throughout the whole regatta. Cal claimed fourth in the varsity eight grand final, clocking a time of 5:29.49.
"The varsity eight didn't have a great lane, but just to get into the final was a superhuman effort," Teti said. "Then to come back out today and fight for the lead for two-thirds of the race was pretty remarkable. It was just one race too many for them. They gave it a really good effort."
What is even more encouraging for the future of Cal men's crew is the fact that there was only one senior on the varsity eight boat - Chris Yeager. Everyone else will return in 2013.
"It's a shame to lose Chris Yeager, he did a fantastic job for us for four years," Teti said. "Everyone else is back. We have a coxswain plus seven rowers back from the varsity and a cox and six back from the JV. We're excited about next year."
Cal also finished fourth in the junior varsity eight grand final, posting a time of 5:35.47. Coming in just four seconds after Washington, the Bears JV boat cut the margin and were less than a length away from winning the race.
The closest the Bears came to a first-place finish was in the varsity four. The Huskies just edged Cal to the finish line, 6:12.25-6:14.09. In the freshman eight grand final, Washington only beat second-place Cal by less than four seconds. The Bears definitely gave the Huskies a fight despite coming up short.
In the open four grand final, Cal took third with a time of 6:20.02.
Teti once again praised the work of his assistant coaches - Wyatt Allen, Luke Agnini and Patrick Schulkers. He also said the "gold star" of the weekend goes to Cal's longtime boatman Mike Fennelly, who had his work cut out for himself all weekend with the Bears dealing with crosswinds, headwinds and tailwinds.
2012 IRA Championships Day Three
Varsity Eight Grand Final
Junior Varsity Eight Grand Final
Freshman Eight Grand Final