The Daily Californian Online

Bears Continue to Switch Lineups With Success

By Anna Hiatt
Contributing Writer
Monday, April 19, 2010
Category: Sports > Spring > Crew (Men's)

The Cal men's crew team does not have just one good boat, or even two. The goal is not to place first in just a single event, but to craft the best overall team. And the way of doing that is to focus on the individual rowers.

Three weeks and as many regattas into the season, the boat lineups are still up in the air. Last weekend at the Stanford Invitational, nearly the whole squad rowed two or more times in different lineups. The goal is to develop each rower as an all-around excellent rower so he can hop in any boat any day.

"The boats are starting to row a uniform style now and I think the athletes are becoming more interchangeable," coach Mike Teti said.

Cal men's crew raced at the Lake Natoma Invitational at Redwood Shores against Wisconsin, Michigan and Oregon State last weekend. The Bears raced both Saturday and Sunday and placed first in all of their events.

On-the-water and wind conditions changed dramatically throughout the day, from flat water with no wind in the morning, switching to a tail wind and then a head wind. While weather conditions may seem slight on the shore, the slightest shift in wind can have a dramatic impact on the timed results.

Because conditions shifted so much throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, times between boats were not comparable.

While this makes it hard to compare the strength of individual boats, changing conditions has the effect of preparing rowers for whatever winds or waves come their way.

With the middle of the season well under way and the IRA Championship Regatta in sight, the Bears are starting to face their hardest competitors. Cal has two straight weeks of difficult races at Redwood City, Calif., beginning next weekend, including Washington and Stanford.

The next two weeks of races will prove more challenging for the entire squad than any regatta yet this season. The Huskies won the IRA Championship Regatta in 2009. Cal placed second in the same race, with a time less than a second slower than Washington. The Cardinals came in third.

With less than a month of practice and only two more regular season races Cal is taking advantage of every race day as fully as possible.

"The rowing is better. I think the boats are faster. And right now we're getting into the meat of the racing season," Teti said. "We're trying to ascend into the championships."

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