Women top Huskies in Seattle

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The Cal men's and women's crew teams both competed this Easter weekend, but it was the fourth-ranked women who emerged victorious against No. 9 Washington in Seattle, Wash. The No. 2 men fell to the top-ranked Huskies.

In a packed day of racing coupled with favorable race conditions on Saturday, the two highest ranked men's teams in the nation went head-to-head for four races.

Washington clinched the Schoch Cup for the second successive year after its varsity 8+ win. The competition marked the 100th dual meet between the two squads.

"The varsity 8+ fought hard the whole way, they've made some big improvements," Cal men's coach Mike Teti said. "You always want to win, but I was really encouraged with what I saw today."

The Bears haven't been able to pull out a win against the Huskies in their last five encounters, running the all-time series to 69-30-1 in favor of Washington. The race between the two varsity 8+ squads was separated by a a couple seconds, marking the closest race of the day at 5:34.9 to 5:37.6.

The freshmen 8+ pulled off the only win for the Cal men. Their time of 5:42.8 outpaced Washington's 5:48.2 mark.

"I couldn't be prouder of them," freshman coach Wyatt Allen said. "Racing in one of the more difficult places to row in the country, to come in and handle it the way they did, I was really impressed."

Although the men's squad couldn't defeat the Huskies, the Cal women won all four races against Washington. The Bears kept their grips on the Simpson Cup for the eighth year in a row.

"I'm proud of everyone, the Simpson Cup means a lot to our program" women's coach Dave O'Neill said. "Each crew stepped up to the challenge of racing the Huskies on their home course, and they raced really well."

Cal's women's varsity 8+ came in at a time of 6:18.5 and the varsity 4+ secured a narrow triumph, 7:15.9 to 7:18-1.

The freshmen 8+ and the junior varsity 8+ both clinched close to five-second victories over the Huskies.

"The wins today are a credit to this year's team and all the great teams of years past that built what we have today," O'Neill said.

After struggling through a few races last weekend at the Lake Natoma Invitational, the Cal women's crew team didn't let that deter it during practice this week.

"I was worried about there being a letdown," O'Neill said. "However, it was clear from the moment we arrived for the row-through yesterday that the team was focused and ready to race."

The men's and women's teams return to California to take on Bay Area rival Stanford on April 30 in the Big Row at Redwood Shores.

Next weekend notches the final competitions for the two squads before they head into the Pac-10 Championships in mid-May.


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