Dual Meets Against Stanford Give Men's and Women's Crews a Chance to Bounce Back

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Last weekend both Cal crews suffered defeats against Washington, an unfamiliar feeling for the Bears thus far this season.

Instead of letting last weekend's losses defeat them, though, the Bears took this week to refocus and get ready to face Stanford at the Big Row.

"It's important for us to get on the right track and bounce back after this weekend," Cal senior coxswain Zachary Vlahos said after the losses to the Huskies.

This weekend the Bears will get their chance at redemption and to test what they have learned this week. Cal's No. 2 men's and No. 1 women's squads will return to Redwood Shores, Calif., for their second dual meet in a row, this time against the Cardinal's No. 6 women's and No. 13 men's squads.

Washington's team was a worthy foe for both the Bears' men's and women's squads. The Huskies' No. 1 men's squad dominated Cal with a sweeping victory against all four boats. Three varsity boats and one novice crew raced.

In the annual varsity eight men's race between the Bears and Washington, the Huskies have taken home the Schoch Cup for the last four years now.

But that was last weekend.

The Bears' defeat of Stanford's crew at the San Diego Crew Classic in the grand final of the Copley Cup gave Cal a mental advantage for this weekend. The Bears' first-place time in the varsity eight was 14.45 seconds faster than the Cardinals, who came in sixth.

Add to that Cal's historical dominance in the annual varsity eight race against Stanford for the Schwabacher Cup. The Bears have won 18 of the last 19 contests.

It has been a month since that race, a long time for a crew to grow and get faster. But it is unlikely that Cal will fall again like it did last weekend against Washington.

Last Saturday's dual meet was a trial for the men's team. This upcoming meet will prove the more difficult test for the women. In their meet against the No. 7 Huskies, the Bears took home two victories out of four races.

Though last Saturday's races were against challenging competition, women's captain Mary Jehgers said she saw room for improvement and wanted to turn last weekend's weaknesses into this weekend's strengths. When Cal and the Cardinal met last, the Bears took home the prize in the varsity eight category.

"Our boats are coming together and looking good," Jehgers said Thursday after a week of practice. "So I think this race will definitely be a fight for every stroke till the end."

Cal women's crew rose in the newly released rankings from its second-place spot to No. 1. The men's crew, which is ranked in a weekly US Rowing poll, remained at its second-place spot, right below the Huskies.

With Pac-10 Championships a mere two weekends away the pressure is on. This Saturday's dual meet against Stanford will be the last time the Bears race competitively before championship season begins.


Contact Anna Hiatt at [email protected]

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