April 25, 2012
Returning to No. 1 in the polls, the top-ranked California women's rowing team hopes to retain the Lambert Cup for the third year in a row when it tangles with No. 12 Stanford in The Big Row on Saturday, April 28, at Redwood Shores. The Lambert Cup is awarded annually to winner of the varsity eight race between the Golden Bears and the Cardinal. On Saturday, Cal will once again don their aquamarine uniforms and race as Team Jill in honor of Jill Costello
Schedule of Races
9:15 a.m. - Alumni Race
9:30 a.m. - Alumni Race
10:10 a.m. - Third Varsity Eight
10:20 a.m. - Freshman Eight
10:40 a.m. - Varsity Four
11:00 a.m. - Second Varsity Eight
11:15 a.m. - Varsity Eight
Last Year's Big Row
Then-third-ranked California won three out of four races against then-No. 2 Stanford, including the varsity eight, at last season's Big Row at Redwood Shores. The Golden Bears retained the Lambert Cup with their varsity eight victory, 6:20-6:24. Stanford moved out to a four-seat lead soon after 500m. The Bears moved back and pulled even by 1000m, and they pulled away in the second half. In the varsity four race, both crews were even after 500m. Cal started to pull away in the middle of the race and extended lead to open water by 1500m. The Bears clocked a time of 7:29.6 to Stanford's 7:35.3. Cal led wire to wire in a dominating victory in the freshman 8+, 7:10.5-7:29.1.
A Look at the Cal-Stanford Series
Since 1976, Cal holds the all-time series lead over Stanford, 25-11. Stanford snapped a six-year losing streak with a victory in 2009 before the Bears took every race against the Cardinal in 2010 and three out of four in 2011. Since 1997, the Bears have defeated Stanford every year except 2002 and 2009. Cal also opened the series winning five of the first six competitions.
CRCA/USRowing Coaches Poll
In the USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Coaches poll that came out on April 25, Cal jumped all the way up to the No. 1 ranking with 15 first-place votes. This week's opponent, Stanford, is ranked 12th. Among the other Pac-12 foes, USC is fifth, Washington is sixth, UCLA is eighth and Washington State is 16th.
Bears Sweep Huskies, Retain Simpson Cup
For the ninth year in a row, Cal retained the Simpson Cup in the Bears' annual dual meeting against Washington last Saturday at Redwood Shores. In addition to retaining the trophy, Cal swept all four races against the Huskies. With the Simpson Cup on the line in the varsity eight race, the final race of the day, Cal beat Washington by over seven seconds, 6:22.3-6:29.6. After a slow start in San Diego in the season opener, the Bear's top boat has now won its last four races. The closest finish of the day was in the varsity four. Cal clocked a winning time of 7:15.3 to Washington's 7:18. O'Neill has said since before the season started how excited he is about his freshmen this year and about the underclassmen in general. The freshman eight proved O'Neill's predictions to be true once again against Washington. The Bears' novice boat beat the Huskies by nearly 13 seconds, 6:45.8-6:58.3
While the closest finish was in the varsity four, the Bears actually trailed the Huskies at the outset of the second varsity eight race. Cal eventually overtook Washington and pulled away for the win, reaching the finish line with a time of 6:27.5 to Washington's 6:31.4.
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.
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 takes next week off as it prepares to return to Lake Natoma for 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.
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