Cal men’s, women’s rowing fall short of Pac-12 championship

photo of the Cal men's rowing team
Karen Chow/File

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Both Cal men’s and women’s rowing fell short of a Pac-12 championship Sunday. However, both teams still earned podium finishes: The men came in second while the women finished third overall. Sunday’s events marked the final race before both the men and women travel to their respective national championships.

On the championship course, the men fell to their heralded rival, taking second place in every race to the Huskies. The varsity eight finished just 4.5 seconds behind Washington while the second varsity lost by 6.4 seconds. Similarly, the third varsity eight fell to the Huskies by 2.2 seconds.

Men’s head coach Scott Frandsen explained that while his team was disappointed, its postseason goals are still intact.

“The goal in every race is to win,” Frandsen said. “I thought we had a really good last two weeks, and I think all of our boats got faster and now the challenge is to find some more speed over the next two weeks. (We are) disappointed but in no way broken. The spirit is still very much alive.”

On the other hand, the women finished third in all three of their varsity eight races and placed fourth in the varsity four. They landed third overall to Washington and Stanford.

Even though the women’s team didn’t perform quite as well as the men’s team, it still had a more positive outlook on this past weekend’s events.

“I think (the atmosphere) was pretty positive,” said women’s head coach Al Acosta. “I think all the boats felt like they performed well, and they were grateful to have the opportunity to race.”

Acosta noted that for the women, the two weeks leading up to the NCAA championships will be focused on recovering from both the fatigue of final exams and the Pac-12 championships.

“It’s been the fastest spring (season) ever, and I think everybody’s grateful for the opportunity that we’ve had so far and excited that we have two more weeks to train together and try to get a little faster, but more importantly just be together as a team,” Acosta said.

Similarly, the men will be looking to improve in the weeks leading up to the IRA National Championships. Frandsen detailed that the theme of this spring season has been the process of gradually getting faster week by week. However, the team’s ability to meet this goal has been impacted by the shortened spring season.

“Just with the way the spring has been we haven’t had a lot of workouts, a lot of practices in these lineups,” Frandsen said. “So just giving the guys a little bit more time to gel and find those efficiencies will definitely help.”

Conner Parker covers rowing. Contact him at [email protected].