Cal Opens Season at San Diego Crew ClassicBears Will Send a Full Team to San Diego
Cal opens the 2012 season at the San Diego Crew Classic this weekend.
March 28, 2012
Second-ranked California opens the 2012 season in Southern California at the San Diego Crew Classic from March 31-April 1. The Golden Bears will bring a full squad with them to San Diego for the first time since the 2007 campaign. This is the only regatta where the Bears will have to leave Northern California until the NCAA Championships, which take place in West Windsor, N.J.
For complete information on the SDCC throughout the weekend, click here.
Last Year's San Diego Crew Classic
As the Bears had down in previous seasons before this year, only the varsity eight boat made the trek to San Diego for the 2011 edition of the regatta. Cal placed third in the grand final after taking second in the preliminary heat the day before. In the final, the Bears clocked a time of 6:37.78, finishing behind first-place USC (6:32.9) and second-place Stanford (6:35.53). Representing the Bears in the varsity eight were: 1. Rosie Popa, 2. Erica Rippe, 3. Bridget Moran, 4. Elise Etem, 5. Paparangi Hipango, 6. Kara Kohler, 7. Mary Jeghers, 8. Kristina Lofman, cox: Erica Bellis.
Etem and Lofman are 2012 Team Captains
Prior to start of winter practices, seniors Elise Etem and Kristina Lofman were named the team captains for the 2012 season, as announced by head coach Dave O'Neill. Etem and Lofman have rowed together on the varsity eight boat since they were sophomores, and helped the Bears capture Pac-10 Championships in 2010 and 2011. Lofman has been stroke the last two years and Elise in the four-seat. Lofman also competed on the top boat as a freshman when she was named the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year in 2009.
CRCA/USRowing Coaches Preseason Poll
In the USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Coaches Preseason poll that came out on March 15, Virginia claimed the top ranking with 15 first-place votes. Cal is ranked second in the season's first poll, garnering five first-place tallies. Princeton, Brown and Stanford round out the top five, respectively, with Brown earning four first-place votes and Stanford with one. Among Pac-12 foes, USC comes in at No. 6, Washington at No. 8, Washington State at No. 14 and UCLA at No. 20.
Women's Crew Bear Blog
Want more insight into what's going on with the Cal women's crew? Check out the Cal Women's Crew Bear Blog on CalBears.com for a behind-the-scenes look at the Bears as they strive for another NCAA title in 2012. Golden Bears Heather Hargreaves and Greer Uu will be blogging throughout the season on CalBears.com. Click here to check out the blog.
O'Neill Inks Six Newcomers
Head coach Dave O'Neill announced an impressive group of six recruits who signed National Letters of Intent this past fall for the 2013 season. The incoming class features athletes from the state of California and all of the country, as well. California signees include Savannah Eldridge (Folsom), Clara Nowinski (Sacramento) and Rebecca Roth (Corte Madera). The out-of-state signees are Cara Bohman (New York) and Kendall Chase (Colorado). Bringing in the international experience, Charlotte Siering comes to Cal from her native Germany.
Bears Enjoy 2011 International Summer Success
As much as the Bears are excited to represent Cal and their country at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London this summer, some Bears also enjoyed some international success prior to the 2012 season. Two-time All-American and member of Cal's varsity eight boat last year, Kara Kohler won gold for the U.S. as part of the women's four at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia, last August.
Sophomore Rosie Popa, despite being a native of Melbourne, Australia, represented the U.S. in the women's quad sculls at the 2011 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, last July. Senior Kristina Lofman also competed in the championships, competing in pairs for Norway.
Olympic Hopefuls Hope to Represent Cal at 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London
Cal women's crew has a number of Olympic hopefuls for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, this summer. Both athletes and coaches from Cal are hoping to represent the Bears on the world's grandest stage. Current Cal head coach Dave O'Neill is one of the hopeful coaches (LW2x). One of the rowers that O'Neill is hoping to coach in the Games is Julie Nichols. O'Neill, who first came to Cal when Nichols was a junior, has been reunited with his former collegiate rower as they try to represent the U.S. together. Erin Cafaro ('06) and Kara Kohler are two other Bears hoping to make the U.S. squad. Both are striving to make the eight, while Cafaro is also trying for the W2-and Kohler in the W4x. Laurel Korholz ('93) has been a part of every Olympic Games as either an athlete or a coach since 1996. Korholz returns as a U.S. assistant coach (W4x or W2x). The only non-U.S. Olympic hopeful is Iva Obradovic (W1x or W2x), who will row for her native Serbia. Obradovic took fifth in the B final of the single scull at the 2008 Olympics.
Bears Enjoy Third Year of Cal Crew Cleanup
For the third consecutive year, the California men's and women's crews recently gathered together for their local community service project of cleaning up the local areas in Moraga, Calif. Both squads helped the East Bay Municipal Utility District clear out invasive broom (weeds), and cut up and removed fallen trees. The view the photo gallery from the day's events, please click here.
Jill Costello Receives NCAA Inspiration Award
The late Jill Costello was one of two winners of the NCAA Inspiration Award this past winter. She was recognized in January during the Honors Celebration at the 2012 NCAA Convention in Indianapolis. World War II veteran and former Southern California runner Louis Zamperini was the other honoree. The NCAA Inspiration Award is presented to a current coach or administrator or to a current or former varsity student-athlete who, when confronted with a life-altering situation, used perseverance, dedication and determination to overcome the event and now serves as a role model to give hope and inspiration to others. Costello, Cal's former coxswain and the 2010 Pac-10 Athlete of the Year, passed away from lung cancer in June of 2010. Her fight and her legacy lives on through the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and her "Jog For Jill" events. For more information, please click here.
Cal returns to the Bay Area for its first competition at Lake Natoma for the Lake Natoma Invitational from April 14-15. The other regatta that will take place at Lake Natoma is the Pac-12 Championships on May 13.
Head Coach Dave O'Neill Dave O'Neill is in his 14th year as head coach of the California program. During his tenure, the program has been invited to the NCAA Championship each year, won seven Pac-10 Championships (last four consecutive) and two NCAA Championships. Cal has taken home nine trophies from NCAAs by finishing among the top four nationally, including the 2005 and 2006 NCAA champion trophies.
Ten of the women O'Neill has coached at Cal have gone on to race for their respective senior national teams, and there have been 10 Golden Bears racing on U23 national teams. Most recent O'Neill protégés Kristina Lofman and Kara Kohler, along with Olympic hopeful Julie Nichols and Iva Obradovic competed at the 2011 World Rowing Championships.
Before coming to Cal, O'Neill headed the women's program at Boston College for seven years. As an athlete, O'Neill became one of the country's top lightweight oarsmen, medaling at the USRowing Nationals, Olympic Festival, CRASH-B Sprints, and the Canadian Henley. He earned his bachelor's degree in history from Boston College in 1991.