Cal men’s, women’s rowing sweep season finale at Big Row

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Some things tend to finish off how they started, and Cal rowing is no exception. After the men and women began the season with sweeps at their first regattas of the spring, both teams took first in every race at the Big Row against Stanford over the weekend to close out the regular season.

The Cal women, who came into the race tied for No. 1 in the nation, began the day with a relatively easy open-water win over No. 5 Stanford in the third varsity eight race. They followed that up with victories by the varsity four and second varsity eight, which were both rather dominant performances by the Bears.

The main event, a varsity eight race competition for the Lambert Cup, saw tight racing up until the very end. Cal and Stanford were neck and neck as they approached the 1000-meter mark, but the Bears managed to pull ahead just enough to win, 6:18.2 to 6:20.1. With the win, the women’s varsity eight remains undefeated on the season, which bodes well heading into the postseason.

On the men’s side, the Bears competed in only three events, which they also managed to sweep, just as the women did. The third varsity and second varsity absolutely blew the No. 9 Cardinal out of the water, as they both managed to win with at least 20 seconds to spare.

The main event was a bit more even, but in the end, Cal’s varsity eight rowed its way to a fifth straight victory over Stanford at the Big Row.

Apart from the racing, the event saw both Cal and Stanford sport jerseys that read “Team Jill”, in honor of Jill Costello, a former Cal coxswain who passed away from lung cancer at age 22.

The men will have this weekend off before competing in the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships on May 12. They will then be joining the women’s team for the Pac-12 Championships on May 13.

Though the men are currently ranked second, they will have the chance to avenge their only varsity eight loss, which came at the hands of Washington two weekends ago. The women will enter the weekend ranked first; they have finished either first or second in each of the past three Pac-12 Championships.

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