Unfortunately for Cal, UT Austin proved itself and its position as the defending NCAA champion this weekend at the San Diego Crew Classic, as it hooked the top position in all four events.
However, the Bears still managed to finish within the top three, and ahead of Washington.
After a full day of rowing on Saturday, all four boats from Cal women’s crew placed in the top two of their respective heat, and advanced to the finals on Sunday. The four boats consisted of the varsity 8+, second varsity 8+, third varsity 8+ and varsity 4+.
Women’s crew demonstrated just how suspenseful regattas can be, as some of the nail-biting races came down to a matter of a second. The Bears averaged 6.64 seconds behind the Longhorns and 4.625 seconds ahead of the Huskies across the four races.
In its first final of the regatta, the Jessop-Whittier Cup Invitational, the blue and gold were up against UT, UW, UCLA and USC. 250 meters after the race began, all five boats were fairly equal. It wasn’t until the 1000-meter mark when the drama began. By this point, the Longhorns had a full-boat advantage and the race for second place came down to the Huskies and Bears.
Despite a steady two-seat advantage Washington held over Cal for the majority of the race, the Bears were able to accelerate past the Huskies in the last 50 meters, finishing 1.86 seconds ahead of UW, claiming the No. 2 spot.
The 2V Jackie Ann Stitt Hungness Trophy Final consisted of the same five schools as the Jessop-Whittier Cup, with the addition of Stanford, Gonzaga and Oklahoma. In a slight turn of events, the Huskies started off strong with a three-seat advantage. However, their lead was short-lived when UT and Cal cruised past into first and second place at the 750-meter mark.
Texas, Cal and Washington finished within seven-seconds of each other, at 6:42.94, 6:45.24 and 6:49.58, respectively.
For their final race of the San Diego Crew Classic, the Bears rowed in the Open Carley Copley Cup. Cal’s results from this race were as you may have guessed: in second place, behind UT and ahead of Washington.
The varsity four spiced things up a bit, as the only boat that claimed a No. 3 spot, falling short to not only Texas, but USC as well, in the Karen Plumleigh Cortney Cup. For the first 750 meters of the race, all eight boats remained in contention, holding a consistent stroke rate. This remained until the latter half of the race, when UT sped up into first place.
Although the Bears ended behind both UT and USC, they still managed to finish ahead of the Huskies with a more substantial margin of 9.8 seconds.
After a long weekend of racing, the Bears have no time to rest. Cal women’s crew is set to race against Stanford this weekend, April 2, at Redwood Shores.