March 31, 2012
SAN DIEGO -The freshman eight from the second-ranked California women's rowing team won their preliminary heat and three other Golden Bear boats claimed second place in the first day of the San Diego Crew Classic on Saturday.
All four boats will compete in Sunday's finals. This is the first time in recent years that the Bears have sent their full squad to the San Diego regatta.
In the varsity eight race, Washington took first with a time of 6:43.4. Cal just edged Stanford to the finish line for second by a tenth of a second, 6:44.0-6:44.1.
"The crew had some good speed, especially in the third 500m, and that base rhythm has been a focus since we made a change at stroke earlier in the week," head coach Dave O'Neill said about his top boat. "Both Stanford and Washington looked good, and that was expected. Tomorrow should be a great race."
O'Neill has been impressed about the young talent on his team this year, and on Saturday, the freshman eight showed why he's been impressed with them up to this point. The Bears clocked a time of 6:53 to win their heat, topping UCLA by three seconds.
Cal also took second in the junior varsity eight (6:53.6) and in the women's open eight (7:00.5).
"As a whole, the day went pretty well and I'm pleased with the effort of everyone, "O'Neill said. "We understand the season is a process and today was the first step. All our boats advanced to their respective A finals, and we'll be in the thick of the racing tomorrow. It looks like some crews are already in mid-season form, so we'll have to step up a notch tomorrow. Knowing the women on our team, they'll be up to the challenge."
2012 San Diego Crew Classic
Junior Varsity Eight