April 18, 2012
The No. 4 California women's rowing team hopes to retain the Simpson Cup when it hosts No. 2 Washington in the annual dual meet on Saturday, April 21, at Redwood Shores. The Simpson Cup is awarded annually to winner of the varsity 8+ race between the Golden Bears and the Huskies. Cal will be going for its ninth consecutive win over Washington.
Schedule of Races
9:10 a.m. - Freshman Eight
9:30 a.m. - Varsity Four
9:50 a.m. - Second Varsity 8+
10:20 a.m. - Varsity 8+
Last Year's Washington Dual
In a battle of two top-10 teams, then-No. 4 California took all four races against then-No. 9 Washington, in Seattle, Wash. In the process, the Golden Bears retained the Simpson Cup for the eighth consecutive year. In the varsity eight race for the Simpson Cup, Cal beat Washington to the finish line, clocking a time of 6:18.5 to the Huskies' 6:24.6. The closest race of the day came in the varsity four where the Bears picked up a slim victory with a time of 7:15.9 to Washington's 7:18.1. The freshman eight notched a five-second victory over Washington, while the junior varsity eight beat the Huskies, 6:27.8-6:33.2.
A Look at the Cal-Washington Series
Since 1975, Washington holds the all-time series lead for the Simpson Cup, 22-15, but Cal has won the last eight consecutive times. The Bears also opened the series winning the first six years in a row from 1975-80. The only other time the Bears were victorious was in 1990.
Bears Put Together Strong Showing at Lake Natoma Invitational
Last week, Cal finished off an excellent weekend with four grand final victories at the Lake Natoma Invitational in Gold River, Calif. The Golden Bears' varsity eight boat won its third race of the weekend on Sunday. Cal was primarily racing against Stanford and Wisconsin in the grand finals. Cal's varsity eight topped second-place Wisconsin by nearly four seconds, 6:35.5-6:39. The second varsity eight beat Stanford by five seconds and the varsity four won by four seconds, as well. The closest race of the day was the freshman eight. Cal edged Wisconsin to the finish line, 6:45-6:46.9.
In the preliminary heats on Saturday, Cal nearly swept every race it competed in The varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four all picked up two victories on the day. The varsity eight picked up two decisive wins. 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. 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.
Passot Signs With the Bears
Head coach Dave O'Neill recently added another big recruit to his already strong incoming class for the 2013 campaign. Charlotte Passot, who was recognized as one of the top recruits in the country, has signed a Letter of Intent to row at Cal next season. Passot, a native of Mill Valley, Calif., attended Tamalpais High School and rowed for the Marin Rowing Association.While rowing with the Marin RA, Passot was part of the women's eight that was victorious at the 2011 USRowing Youth National Championships. She also captured a bronze medal in the eight at the 2011 Junior World Championships.
CRCA/USRowing Coaches Poll
In the USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Coaches poll that came out on April 18, Virginia remained with the No. 1 ranking and 18 first-place votes. Cal moved up from eighth to fourth in the poll. This week's opponent, Washington, is ranked second, garnering two first-place votes. Among Pac-12 foes, USC is fifth, UCLA is sixth, Stanford is 11th and Washington State is 13th.
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
In addition to the recent signing of Charlotte Passot, 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 Cal men's and women's crews gathered together for their local community service project of cleaning up the local areas this past March 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 continues the dual portion of its schedule next week when the Bears Stanford in the Big Row at Redwood Shores. Against the Cardinal, the Bears will once again don their aquamarine uniforms and row as "Team Jill."
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.
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