May 9, 2012
The top-ranked California women's rowing team embarks on the postseason portion of the 2012 schedule with the Pac-12 Championships on Sunday, May 13, at Lake Natoma. The Golden Bears, fresh off of back-to-back dual sweeps over Washington and Stanford, will be vying for their fifth straight conference title.
for live updates during the Pac-12 Championships.
Schedule of Races
9:50 a.m. - Freshman Eight
10:30 a.m. - Varsity Four
11:10 a.m. - Second Varsity Eight
11:50 a.m. - Varsity Eight
Last Year's Pac-10 Championships
Ranked No. 1 at the conference meet last year, as well, Cal won three of four races, including a half-second victory over Stanford in the varsity eight final, to capture its fourth consecutive Pac-10 championship in 2011. The Bears also prevailed in the varsity four and freshman eight and placed second in the second varsity eight to claim the title. Cal finished with 43.5 points in the team standings to second-place Stanford's 34.
In the varsity eight race, Cal led from the start and opened up a more than two-second advantage over the Cardinal with 500 meters to go. Although Stanford closed quickly, the Cardinal could not catch the Bears, who won with a time of 7:02.1. Stanford was timed in at 7:02.6 and third-place USC at 7:09.3.
A Look at the Cal Historically at the Conference Championships
With last season's championship, Cal has now won seven of the last eight Pac-10 Championships and the last four straight (2008-11). The Bears came in second in 2007. Their 2004 title was the first since winning their first-ever conference title in 1994 as part of a combined competition with the men. The varsity eight boat has won 11 Pac-10 titles and seven since 2004 (2004-08, 2010-11).
CRCA/USRowing Coaches Poll
The competition for the Pac-12 Championships on May 13 is going to be fierce, as the Pac-12 has four teams ranked in the top 10 of the latest USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Coaches poll that came out on May 2. Cal maintained its No. 1 ranking with 18 first-place votes. Among the Pac-12 foes, USC is third with one first-place vote, UCLA is seventh, Washington is eighth, Stanford is 12th and Washington State is 17th.
Bears Sweep Cardinal as Team Jill
Racing with the memory of Jill Costello in the back of its mind, No.1 Cal swept No. 12 Stanford in The Big Row back on April 28. The Bears successfully defended the Lambert Cup with their varsity eight victory over the Cardinal. It was the third year in a row that Cal has won the Lambert Cup.
The Bears donned their aquamarine uniforms once again in honor of Costello, as Cal raced as Team Jill on Saturday. In addition, the Cal men and both Stanford teams each wore their own Team Jill uniforms to share the tribute of the special day. Costello's parents and her dog, Jack, were present, as well.
Cal is now 26-11 all-time in the dual series against Stanford that dates back to 1976. In addition, in the last three duals against the Cardinal, Cal has won 11 of the 12 races.
In the varsity eight race, Cal topped Stanford by three seconds, 6:20.3-6:23.3. The Bears jumped out to an early lead, and while the Cardinal crept back in late and made it close, Cal made it to the finish line first.
The Big Row was the final regular-season event for Cal's four seniors - team captains Elise Etem and Kristina Lofman, and Becca Lindquist and Tanya Wolfram.
Lofman Racks Up Awards
Following The Big Row on April 28, Cal head coach Dave O'Neill gathered the team, family and friends together for a brief award ceremony at Redwood Shores. O'Neill then presented the first Jill Costello Scholar Award to senior Kristina Lofman. The award is given to the student-athlete who best represents the spirit of Jill by displaying courage, perseverance and a positive outlook when faced with adversity. The senior team captain was brought to tears when she received the honor.
"I am so honored to receive the Jill Costello award," Lofman said. "It means a lot that the coaches think I am a good representation of who Jill was and what she believed in. There is not a day that goes by where I don't think about Jill and the example that she set for us all. Every day, whether it is as an athlete or as a student, I try to be just as positive and aggressive towards challenges as she was. I want to set a good example as a leader and inspire others to do their very best while enjoying the journey, just like Jill did."
A week later on Thursday, May 3, Lofman received another award, this time for her diligent work in the classroom. At the annual Academic Honors Luncheon held at the Pauley Ballroom on the Cal campus, Lofman was one of the recipients of the Oscar Geballe Postgraduate Scholarships. This award, now in its 31st year, was created through the generosity of Dr. Theodore Geballe to honor his father, Oscar Geballe. This award recognizes Oscar Geballe's devotion to Cal and his strong belief in the value of combining scholarship and intercollegiate athletic competition. Since 1981, the Geballe award has helped more than 75 Golden Bears continue their education at the postgraduate level with a $5,000 stipend going to each winner.
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 for the NCAA Championships from May 25-27 in West Windsor, N.J.
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.
Follow Cal women's crew on Facebook
Follow Cal women's crew on Twitter