Crew teams honor Costello during wins over Stanford

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Jill Costello would have been proud.

Dedicating this year's Big Row to the former coxswain who passed away from lung cancer last June, the Cal men's and women's crew teams both emerged victorious against Stanford this past Saturday at Redwood Shores, Calif.

The Cal women raced as "Team Jill," wearing matching uniforms and using blades in Costello's favorite color, aquamarine. Outside of successes and the Bay Area rivalry, every participant showed support for Costello by sporting ribbons in her honor.

"We all felt Jill was there with us today," women's head coach Dave O'Neill said. "I hope we made her proud."

Added men's coach Mike Teti: "Today was really all about Jill and the inspiration that she has instilled in all of us. I think Jill would have been proud of both Cal and Stanford today."

The No. 3 women's team upset second-ranked Stanford in three out of the four races - the women have now won all but two meetings since 1997. The Bears' varsity 8+ reclaimed the Lambert Cup after outracing the Cardinal by four seconds for the final time of 6:20.

"The V8 was fantastic, and that was their best race of the year," O'Neill said. "They stayed relaxed and cool when they were down, and had the confidence to move on a very talented and fast Stanford crew."

The varsity 4+ Bears also extended their lead with a time of 7:29.6 to the Cardinal's 7:35.3. The freshmen 8+ boat followed after with a strong performance, clocking in at 7:10.5 against 7:29.1 for Stanford.

The team's only defeat on the day was the junior varsity race, where the Bears were just two seconds short of Stanford's leading time of 6:35.

"It was tough losing the 2V8, but that crew put up a great fight," O'Neill said. "Their second 1000m was terrific. Losing never feels good, but they're heading in the right direction."

There was that minor slip-up for the women, but the No. 2 Cal men's team rowed to victory in all three races against No. 11 Stanford, and has now won 20 of the previous 21 encounters with its cross-bay rival. The Bears were flawless en route to securing the Schwabacher Cup for the second consecutive year.

"All the boats raced very well today," Teti said. "Stanford is pretty strong, and the races were tight at the start, but we were able to open it up in the second half.

The varsity 8+ competition marked the closest race, as the Bears emerged victorious with the final time of 5:39-5:48. The freshmen 8+ boat dominated as they won 5.51.2 to Stanford's 6:22.


Camellia Senemar covers crew. Contact her at [email protected]

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