Cal Women's Crew: NCAA Championship Grand Finals Open Thread

Online Stream: Via NCAA

Online results: Meet Results


And it comes down to this, three final races to determine the whether the top ranked Cal Bears will bring home the 3rd NCAA Championship in program history (and the 3rd NCAA Team Championship of the season for Cal). Bears have avoided any letdowns on Friday and Saturday to advance all 3 boats (V4, JV8, and V8) to the respective Grand Finals today. Both V4 and JV8 won their heat on Saturday (nice recap of Saturday's action here), while the V8 grabbed the very important last Grand Final berth in their heat by finishing 3rd.

"ROW" ON YOU BEARS! (courtesy of fiatlux)

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via www.pac-12.org

Schedule of Events (in pacific time)

7:25 a.m. Fours Grand Final (places 1-6) Lake Mercer Division I (Washington, Virginia, Ohio State, Cal, Yale, Princeton)
8:15 a.m. II Eights Grand Final (places 1-6) Lake Mercer Division I (UCLA, Ohio State, Cal, Michigan, Princeton, Virginia)
9:05 a.m. I Eights Grand Final (places 1-6) Lake Mercer Division I (Washington, Princeton, Virginia, Michigan, USC, Cal)

Only Cal, Virginia, and Princeton have boats in all three grand finals! Review of scoring and break down of possible scenarios (why it's not necessarily just a three school race) after the jump.

From my posts earlier this weekend:

How the National Championship is determined: Unlike Men's crew (not an official NCAA championship for supposedly their unwillingness to adopt this scoring system), where the winner of the Varsity 8 (I Eight in the above terminology) is the National Champ, Women's crew reward the National Championship based on the results of all 3 races (Varsity 4, Junior Varsity 8, and the Varsity 8 (tiebreaker if teams finish with the same total team points)).

Now a more detailed point break down. 12 schools score point for each race. For V4, the winner of the race gets 12, second place gets 11, and so on. Note that there is no bonus point for winning the race (unlike in swimming). For JV8, the points total are doubled: so 1st place gets 24, 2nd gets 22, and so on. The all important V8 (tiebreaker in case of a tie in the total point) is triple the points of the V4. So 1st place gets 36, 2nd gets 33 and so on.

One minor exception: points are only award to "Varsity boats from Universities" but often there are "at-large" boats that make it to the finals. "Points earned by an "at large" boat will be awarded to the next boat competing in the team competition."

Got all that? Things can of course be simple if the Bears just sweep across the board.

So even though only Cal, Virginia, and Princeton are in all 3 grand finals, other schools have boats in the petite final to also pick up points. With how V4 is not weighed as much as the other two races, school such as Michigan (2nd best semifinal V8 time and best JV8 time, even better than Cal but competed in a different heat) are also dangerous. Brown won the NCAA title last year despite not having a boat in the V4 grand final and not winning neither the JV8 nor the V8.

The undefeated for the year Cal V4 boat is a heavy favorite to win the V4 Grand Final. JV8 is also expected to possibly win the JV8 Grand Final. Depending on how the other schools finish, the Cal V8 team might have some cushion in the V8 Grand Final to clinch the team championship. Virginia has had the best V8 times both Friday and Saturday and are probably the favorite to win the V8 final. It would be a lot more comforting if the Bears put a distance between themselves and Virginia in the V4 and JV8 finals.

Meet the Bears:

Lead by Pac-12 Coach of the Year, Dave O'Neill, and Pac-12 Athlete of the Year, Elise Etem, here are your 2012 Cal Bears squad and their pump up music of choice (taken from Women's Crew Bear Blog post by Heather Hargreaves):

Varsity 8
Opener) Cox: Rachel Ersted - "Stomp on the Ground" by Italo Brothers
Track 1) Stroke: Michelle Leason - "Don't Lose Your Head" by Zion I
Track 2) 7 seat: Agatha Nowinski - "When We Were Young" by The Killers
Track 3) 6 seat: Elise Etem - "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" by Dropkick Murphys
Track 4) 5 seat: Paparangi Hipango - "Let me think about it (Extended)" - Ida Corr vs. Fedde Le Grand
Track 6) 3 seat: Rosie Popa - "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen
Track 7) 2 seat: Clair Premzic - "Look at Me Now" by Chris Brown
Track 8) Bow: Maggie Simpson - "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor

Second Varsity 8
Opener) Cox: Lindsey Meltz - "What Are You Waiting For" by Gwen Stefani
Track 1) Stroke: Becca Lindquist - "Living on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi
Track 2) 7 seat: Greer Uu - "Boyfriend" by Justin Bieber
Track 3) 6 seat: Jennifer Helssen - "I Can't Stop" by Flux Pavillion
Track 4) 5 seat: Kristina Lofman - "Firestarter" by Prodigy
Track 5) 4 seat: Heather Hargreaves - "Pretty Lil' Heart" by Robin Thicke
Track 6) 3 seat: Kyndal Mancho - "In for the Kill" by Milli Millz
Track 7) 2 seat: Ingvild Ronningen - "Work Freemasons (radio edit)" by Kelly Rowland
Track 8) Bow: Bridget Sullivan - "Club Can't Handle Me" by Flo Rida ft. David Guetta

Varsity 4
Opener) Cox: Lynn Anderson - "California Soul" by Maximillian
Track 1) Stroke: Dani Riggs - "Yes" by LMFAO
Track 2) 3 seat: Allison Declerq - "Lose Yourself" by Eminem
Track 3) 2 seat: Tanya Wolfram - "Oh Go (radio edit)" by The Pack
Track 4) Bow: Caroline Rosetti - "Let it Rock" by Kevin Rudolf

GO BEARS!

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