Cal women’s rowing extends undefeated start to season

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Back to back to back to back to back to back to back to back to back to back to back to back … and that does not even include the Bears’ undefeated record from last weekend at the San Diego Crew Classic.

The No. 2 Cal women’s rowing team completed its second straight clean sweep to start the season, this time winning all 12 of its races at the Pac-12 Challenge. The two-day regatta was held less than 40 miles away from UC Berkeley’s campus at Redwood Shores this past weekend. The event was comprised of entirely dual races, meaning each team faces off with one other school at a time.

Cal began the regatta Saturday morning against No. 17 Iowa, with the varsity eight putting up a time of 6:10.13 to secure the Bears’ first win of the day — a healthy nine seconds ahead of the Hawkeyes.

The second varsity eight and the varsity fours followed up with two more wins against the Hawkeyes, each winning by a sizable margin.

Following the team’s triumph over Iowa, Cal’s second varsity four wrapped up the morning session with a dominant victory over archrival Stanford, speeding to a winning margin of more than 20 seconds.

Kicking off the afternoon session, the Bears’ third varsity eight defeated the Cardinal again, this time by a mere 1.6 seconds. It did not take long, however, for Cal to regain its dominance and take down Stanford’s lightweights, 6:40.7 to 6:58.0, closing out an undefeated stretch against Stanford’s women to start off the spring.

The first and second varsity eight both beat out No. 18-ranked Michigan State before the varsity fours did the same.

To close out the regatta, Cal performed well Sunday morning with three impressive wins against Louisville from a handful of squads: the first and second varsity eights as well as the varsity fours.

The Bears are making a strong case for an early No. 1 ranking in the coaches’ poll, as they have looked virtually unbeatable just two competitions into the season. If they do not move up after this past weekend, they will have another chance to cement their case in a couple weeks.

The team will have a weekend off before they head up to the Lake Natoma Invitational on April 14.

Shailin Singh covers crew. Contact him at [email protected].