Cal men’s, women’s crew excels at Head of the Charles Regatta

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The Cal men’s and women’s crew teams were certainly ahead of everyone else at the Head of the Charles Regatta Sunday. In the men’s championship fours race and the men’s and women’s championship eights races, Cal had strong results and was even able to prevail over longtime rivals.

The men edged out Pac-12 rival Washington in the men’s championship eights race, coming in second to Yale by less than a second. This is a particularly big win for the Bears, considering that they have not been able to beat Washington in the Pac-12 championships since 2009. On the 3-mile course, the Bears had an overall time of 14:19.650 compared with Washington’s 14:26.641

The men’s championship fours came in third place, following boats from Camp Randall — a rowing club based in Madison, Wisconsin — and Cambridge. But again, Cal came in ahead of Washington by more than 15 seconds.

“It is good to see both of our coxswains, Julian (Venonsky) and Erin (Alexander), who were both walk-ons to our program. That is a difficult course to be able to steer, and they both nailed it,” said Cal men’s head coach Mike Teti. “It was a really good trip for everybody.”

In Cal’s third race, the women’s team surpassed expectations and beat last season’s No. 1-ranked Brown University to win the entire championship eights race. Not only was the team victorious, but it finished the race first by a margin of twenty five seconds. The fact that the women were able to come in first so handily, even while testing out new combinations of freshmen and veteran rowers, is a positive prophecy of their season to come.

Though Cal’s races collectively did not span more than an hour, the team had a highly successful weekend in Boston and has returned to prepare for its next fall races. The Head of the Charles was a rarity because, for most of the season, the men and women compete in different regattas. Next on the schedule for the men is the Princeton Chase on Oct. 26, and the women will race in the Head of the American in Gold River, California, on Saturday.

“The boat we are sending to the Princeton Chase is all freshmen, and I don’t know if Yale will send the same boat, either. It will be nine different people in the boat than what we had at the Head of the Charles,” Teti said. “That’s what we are trying to do — get everyone racing experience.”

Contact Lucy Schaefer at [email protected]