Cal rowing splits annual dual with Washington in battle of top-5 teams

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Whenever the annual Washington dual approaches, the rowing communities in both Berkeley and Seattle can expect intense races that go down to the wire, and that is exactly what they were given this Saturday.

On the Bears’ side, both the men and women came into “The Dual” having won every race they partook in this spring, but both of those undefeated records came to a close against an extremely talented Pac-12 rival in Washington.

Both the men and the women dropped four out of the five races. The men claimed the varsity four race on the day, while the women managed to snag the main event in the varsity eight and beat Washington by 3.3 seconds.

The Cal men just barely dropped the Schoch Cup to Washington, losing by a margin of less than 4 seconds in the varsity eight race. While on paper, it seems as though the men got blown out of the water, each of their losses came by less than 5 seconds.

Though it was their only win on the day, the women left Redwood Shores with the Simpson Cup, as they finished the varsity eight race with a blazing time of 6:05.2. The race was tight up until the end, when Cal head coach Al Acosta’s team pulled ahead to finish the day with their only win.

With the victory, the Bears’ varsity eight women’s crew remains undefeated on the spring season and has taken the Simpson Cup back to Berkeley for the fifth straight year.

The women will have to get through the Huskies two more times, as they will face Washington at both the Pac-12 Championships and the NCAA Championships as the season winds down.

Overall, the dual might put the Huskies over the Bears in the men’s USRowing Coaches Poll, as Cal came into the weekend ranked No. 1 with Washington at No. 3, but Cal still remains one of the best rowing schools in the nation and will have plenty of chances to make their way back to the top.

On April 28, the Bears will head back to Redwood Shores again for the 85th edition of the Big Row against Stanford, where the men’s and women’s will be looking to race well against another archrival.

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