Bears, Cardinal row in honor of late Cal coxswain

Big Row ends Cal's regular season


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The Cal men's and women's crew teams will end their regular-season competition on Saturday as they both face Stanford in The Big Row at the Redwood Shores. The teams aren't concentrating solely on the rivalry; like last year's, the event is dedicated to the late Jill Costello, former coxswain and teammate of the women's crew team.

"We have this race to honor Jill and I think that will be leading us into the race with a determination and honor that we want to provide her with," senior Mary Jeghers said.

The No. 3 Cal women take on No. 2 Stanford as "Team Jill" in four races - the varsity 4 will compete first, followed by the freshmen 8+ and second varsity 8+ boats. The varsity 8+ boat will finish off the morning in hopes of claiming the Lambert Cup again.

"We're very fortunate to both be in the Pac-10s," Jeghers said. "We've had multiple times to race them in the season, so we will prepare ourselves for our next race with them and hopefully bring on the competition."

The Bears have been victorious in every rivalry duel, other than 2002 and 2009, since the annual matchup began in 1997. The women know what they need to do to continue the dominance after competing against the Cardinal in the Lake Natoma Invitational two weekends ago.

"Stanford does have a fast varsity 8 boat with some national team members who have been very influential for their team," Jegher said. "There are four or eight rowers that bring the boat through the finish line and I think that as a team we all need to stick out."

The Cal men will also be commemorating Costello this weekend. Both the No. 2 Bears and the No. 11 Cardinal wore aquamarine ribbons supporting Costello in last year's Big Row.

"The whole day was really for her," Cal men's coach Mike Teti said. "It really helped all our crews, everyone was pretty inspired by her."

The two crews will be vying for the Schwabacher Cup, which is awarded to the winner of the annual varsity 8+ race. Last season's Big Row marked a clean sweep in four races for Cal to secure the cup. The Bears are familiar with Stanford's Redwood Shores; they competed there less than a few weeks ago and won four out of five races.

"We just need to keep working, that's all we can ask for," Teti said. "That's the direction we want to go."

Both the Cal men and women want positive results in the rivalry race to maintain a strong mindset going into the Pac-10 Championships come mid-May.

"The thing with crew is that it's not one particular rower, it's all of us in the boat together that we should be looking out for," Jegher said.

Despite the expectations of this weekend's races, the Cal men and women know that the day will be remembered for more than just times and titles.

"The day is for Jill, we want to show her that we all support her," Teti said.


Camellia Senemar covers crew.

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