Second-Half Fade Drops Cal at NCAAs

  • Printer Friendly Printer Friendly
  • Comments Comments (0)

The story of the Cal women's crew's season is best told by its finish.

A furious start, a steady follow-up and a slow fade down the stretch.

After racing Brown in a near-dead heat for the first 1000 meters, the Bears watched the eventual champion slip away over the final 1000 and Washington and Virginia pass by to drop Cal into fourth place at the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships in Cherry Hill, N.J., Sunday.

After beginning the season ranked second in the nation, the Bears hovered between third and fifth for most of the year before settling to fourth following the title race in the Garden State's Cooper River.

See how they come in threes?

"We went for the win today and I am proud that we challenged Brown in the first part of the race," Cal coach Dave O'Neill said. "With the quality of teams there, you're not going to pull a big come-from-behind victory."

In the varsity eight race, the Bears trailed Brown by as little as two seats at 750 meters, and were behind by 1.25 seconds at the 1000-meter mark. At 1500 Brown had pulled ahead by a boat-length and Virginia and Cal were even, with Washington beginning to make a run. The Bears finished the race with a time of 6:46.50, behind Brown (6:37.20), the Huskies (6:41.10) and the Cavaliers (6:42.79).

Cal's varsity four and junior varsity eight boats finished fourth and sixth, respectively, to give the Bears fourth place in the overall competition as well.

Still, the finish isn't a disappointment for Cal. For the second consecutive year, the Bears garnered a team berth in the championships, and the varsity eight only fell off slightly from last year's bronze-medal finish. O'Neill believes his crew has proven itself a legitimate rowing powerhouse.

"With all three of our crews earning spots in the grand finals, this year's team has established itself as one of the elite programs in the country," O'Neill said.

In fact, the Bears' increased depth translated into an improved overall team finish this year. The JV eight and varsity four made up for the varsity eight's dropoff from '99 to improve the team finish two spots from last year's sixth-place showing.

In the qualifying heat Friday, Cal's varsity eight finished second behind Brown to secure a spot in the next day's semifinals. The Bears finished second again in that race - this time to Washington - to qualify for Sunday's grand finals.

The other two crews also cruised through qualifying trials to make the finals.


Comments (0) »

Comment Policy
The Daily Cal encourages readers to voice their opinions respectfully in regards to both the readers and writers of The Daily Californian. Comments are not pre-moderated, but may be removed if deemed to be in violation of this policy. Comments should remain on topic, concerning the article or blog post to which they are connected. Brevity is encouraged. Posting under a pseudonym is discouraged, but permitted. Click here to read the full comment policy.
White space
Left Arrow
Image McLachlan's win helps Cal advance
Riki McLachlan wasn't supposed to play singles in Saturday's second round...Read More»
Image Bears run by Utes, into the national final
For many Cal students, Saturday marked the end of their collegiate caree...Read More»
Image Bears fall short in first ever NCAA final
Battling furiously near the front of the cage, Stanford's Annika Dries re...Read More»
Image Cal dispatches Trojans, advances to round of 16
With the Cal women's tennis team needing one more win to clinch a v...Read More»
Image Tedford picks Maynard as the Bears' starting quart...
In recent years, Cal football coach Jeff Tedford has kept...Read More»
Image Bears drop weekend series in Corvallis
Sundays haven't been kind to Cal's starting pitchers lately. A week ago, O...Read More»
Right Arrow

Job Postings

White Space