Coming up on this championship weekend:
I will be making a return trip to the CRC 7s this year. Unlike last year when I was only able to make the Sunday, I will be covering the CRC in person on both Saturday and Sunday. You will be able to find updates via the CGB twitter account (@GoldenBlogs).
Cal Rugby 7s at the Collegiate Rugby Championship Invitational:
Full Schedule: http://www.usasevenscrc.com/
TV: NBC/NBCSN http://www.usasevenscrc.com/
Sat. May 31: NBC 3-4:30 p.m. ET / 12-1:30 p.m. PT, NBCSN 4:30-6 p.m. ET / 1:30-3 p.m. PT
Sun. June1: NBCSN 2-4 p.m. ET / 11 a.m.-1 p.m. PT, NBC 4-6 p.m. ET / 1-3 p.m. PT
Quick Preview: Golden Bears are going for a repeat title at the CRC. Bears will take on Temple tonight and then on Saturday another local school in Drexel and the somewhat local Maryland in group play. Championship play starts on Sunday in a single elimination format. Main competition for the Bears may be Life University who the Bears bested in the final last year. Dartmouth, a two time champs before the Bears took over is also back in the 20 team competition.
Cal Men's Crew at IRA National Championships:
Sat-Sun from Lake Mercer in New Jersey
Grand Final on Sunday is expected to be at around 9:30 AM PT
Quick Preview: The national championship is awarded to the winner of the Varsity 8 race. This is expected to be a competition between the No.2 Golden Bears and the No.1 Washington Huskies. Maybe 3rd time will be the charm for the Bears who were narrowly edged twice by UW this season (but briefly led late in the 2nd time).
From Row2k's preview:
The University of Washington has been a traditional powerhouse in collegiate rowing for the last century. Under the supervision of Mike Callahan over the last seven seasons however, the narrative has changed from Washington being a powerhouse to something more like - can anyone beat UW at all? After sweeping every event the last couple of IRA championships, one has to wonder if the trend will continue.
If there is a program that can knock the Huskies off of their pedestal this year, it would probably be Cal. The margins between the two programs were almost negligible during their dual race earlier in the season. A few weeks later at Pac-12s, Cal’s 2V beat Washington’s 2V and Cal’s 1V had a lead until the last 500 of the race. With favorable conditions and two weeks to prepare for this regatta, anything could happen. Does Mike Teti have any more tricks up his sleeve? Can Cal sneak up on the Huskies like they did in in 2010 or will Washington blast away the competition yet again?
Cal Women's Crew at NCAA National Championships:
Fri-Sun in Indianapolis, IN
Video Coverage: NCAA.com
Quick Preview: Unlike the men, the national championship is award by combining the points earned from 3 races: Varsity 8, Varsity 8 II, and Varsity 4 with half of the weight to the Varsity 8. The Golden Bears have fallen behind Stanfurd and Washington late in the season out of the teams from the west. Defending champs in The Ohio State will also be back.
Again from Row2k:
The top programs have been tight this season, with last year's champion Ohio State topping the polls as we approach the championship weekend. The Buckeyes have had an incredibly strong season, with an undefeated 1V and wins in all the NCAA events at the Big 10 Championships, handily. They'll be looking to take the title home again, but will be faced with stiff competition; still, momentum is a powerful force, and going in as the number one seed will have its benefits both in the lane draw and in the confidence of the athletes. Having done it before never hurts, either.
Seeded second in the V8, Stanford started slowly this year with a few defeats in the season. The team seemed to pick up speed throughout the spring, ultimately sweeping the NCAA at PAC-12, bringing them to their first PAC-12 team victory as well.
As we have seen many times before, and as Ohio State showed again last year, the 1V winners do not necessarily take home the Championship. The Brown women, seeded first in the 2V8 and V4, have been particularly adept in this regard, and are looking to capture those wins; even without a gold in the 1V, with good program depth, Brown has a good shot at the NCAA title.
The large field and top crews from both the East and West coasts who have not yet raced one another leaves open many possible scenarios in all the events, as well as the team trophy chase. With so many powerful teams, there are sure to be close finishes from the heats through the finals.
So the Golden Bears are not even mentioned here but it would obviously not be the biggest shock in the world if the Bears can somehow pull this off this weekend.
Country Club Sports Recap
Cal Women's Tennis
Post-season finish: Round of 16
Best individual finish: Lynn Chi (Sophomore) to the singles championship game
Final Team Ranking: 10th
All American honor: Lynn Chi (so)
Pac-12 Conference Coach of the year: Amanda Augustus
Pac-12 All Conference Selection: Anett Schutting (sr) and Denise Starr (fr) are 1st team, Lynn Chi (so) and Zsofi Susanyi (jr) are 2nd team, Klara Fabikova (so) is honorable mention
Pac-12 All-Academic: Lynn Chi, Kelly Chui, and Anett Schutting (honorable mention)
Season highlights: Winning the Pac-12 Conference with a perfect 10-0 run, including win over eventual NCAA champs in UCLA
Depth was the key to the Bears' success this season and the bulk of that depth will be back. Bears basically sacrificed the inexperienced but talented freshman Denise Starr at No.1 singles all season in favor of gaining points from senior Anett Schutting at No.2 singles. Schutting is gone but the rest of the lineup in junior Susanyi, sophomores Chi and Fabikova, and freshmen Starr and Maegan Manasse will all return. If Starr or Susanyi or even Chi can make that leap and be the top of the line player for the Bears (or if an incoming freshman do that for the Bears), Bears may finally be able to claim a team national title in 2015.
Cal Men's Golf
Post-season finish: 11th at the NCAA at +10 (5 strokes out of a top 8 berth to advance to match play)
Best individual finish: Joel Stalter (senior) at -1 (tie for 19th)
FINAL STROKE-PLAY PLAYER LEADERBOARD – CAL INDIVIDUALS
(after 3 of 3 stroke-play rounds, 54 of 54 stroke-play holes)
T19. Joël Stalter (69-73-67 – 209, -1)
T42. Brandon Hagy (68-72-72 – 212, +2)
T55. Michael Weaver (72-71-71 – 214, +4)
T105. Shotaro Ban (70-74-75 – 219, +9)
T131. Pace Johnson (81-73-72 – 226, +16)
All-American Honors: Brandon Hagy (sr) and Joel Stalter (sr)
Pac-12 All Academic selection: Brandon Hagy (1st team), Michael Weaver (2nd team), Joel Stalter and Keelan Kilpatrick (honorable mention)
Season highlights: 6 wins: St. Mary's Invitational, Jack Nicklaus Invitational, The Mackenzie, Arizona Intercollegiate, John Burns Invitational, and NIT Invitational (this name is a bit redundant)
The NCAA finish is a bit disappointing for the only other revenue generating program in Cal Athletics than football and men's basketball. Nevertheless, the Bears added plenty of hardwares to their trophy cases this year.
This is the end of an era for Cal Men's Golf. Seniors Brandon Hagy, Joel Stalter, and Michael Weaver are all a part of the great recent dominance by Cal Men's Golf in collegiate golf along with Michael Kim (who turned pro recently) and Max Homa (who graduated last year). We will be hearing from members of this group in the pro golf circuit in the near future.
There is going to be a lot of new faces (well new for those us who only notes who is in the final lineup) for the Bears next year as 4 of the 5 guys in the NCAA lineup (including transfer Pace Johnson) are all seniors. The Bears will be inexperienced next year even if they are still quite talented.
Cal Men's Tennis
Post-season finish: Round of 16
Best individual finish: Ben McLachlan (Sr)
Final Team Ranking: 16th
All Pac-12 Honors: Ben McLachlan (1st), Andre Goransson (fr) and Campbell Johnson (sr) as honorable mentions
Pac-12 All-Academics Honors: Gregory Baynes (jr) in 1st team, Nikhil Jayashankar (jr) in 2nd team, Ben McLachlan and Mads Engsted (so) as honorable mentions
The Golden Bears made a tough run at the Texas gauntlet in the NCAA's, taking down Texas Tech and upsetting Texas A&M in College Station, before falling to Texas in the Round of 16. Bears also had to deal with two top 5 programs in the Pac in UCLA and the champions again in USC (by the way, this was USC's 100th NCAA title joining a special club that includes UCLA and 'Furd).
Seniors Ben McLachlan and Campbell Johnson's performances in the NCAA's are a major impetus for the Bears' return to the round of 16. Although the team doesn't boast that many individuals that are highly ranked, the Bears as a team have exceeded expectations all season long.
Cal Women's Golf
Post-season finish: 22nd at the NCAA Championships
Best individual finish: Nicola Rossler (Sr) with +6 (tie for 23rd)
CAL LINEUP at the NCAA's
T23. Nicola Rössler – 70-75-71-70=286 (+6)
T59. Carly Childs – 74-74-72-74=294 (+14)
T90. Hannah Suh – 73-80-75-72=300 (+20)
T105. Lucia Gutierrez – 79-78-73-74=304 (+24)
T118. Jo Ee Kok – 82-78-73-76=309 (+29)
Pac-12 All-Academic Honors: Jo Ee Kok (1st), Nicola Rossler (2nd), Carly Childs and Morgan Thompson (honorable mentions)
Golden Bears were able to make the NCAA Championships for just the 7th time in school history, thanks to a 5th place finish at the NCAA Regional. Out of the core 5-some used by the Bears, only Rossler is a senior so the Bears would have the rest of the group back.