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Cal Women's Crew wins 2016 NCAA National Championships

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Bears are national champs after victories in V4 and 2V8. A 2nd place finish by V8 clinches the 4th national championship (3rd NCAA) in program history.

Bears with the championship trophy
Bears with the championship trophy
Cal Women's Crew Twitter

Top ranked Golden Bears have done it. For the first time since 2006, the Golden Bears are National Champions!

It was a fairly dominant showing by the Bears in terms of the final points total, although the margins of the victories are rather slim.

Gold River (near Sacrament) is Bear Territory! FYI, next year's NCAA women's rowing championship will take place from New Jersey.

Check out the livethread for the event.

Bears won the Varsity 4 (V4) and 2nd Varsity 8 (2V8) races to open the day.

Bears won V4 with a time of 07:08.410. Washington jumped out to a big lead but the Bears stayed with the Huskies and pulled ahead via a late sprint in the last 500 meters.

*****

In another very close contest, the Bears won 2V8 with a time of 06:28.064, just ahead of Ohio State's 06:28.900. The Buckeyes were pushing hard late, but the Golden Bears held on for the Gold.

*****

While the Bears didn't make history as the first program to win all three races on the weekend, the Bears fend off Stanfurd for 2nd place to become team National Champions. Bears' 06:21.111 was not good enough to catch Ohio State's 06:19.035. There would be no 4-peat for Ohio State, who did nonetheless repeat as Varsity 8 (V8) champs. Cal did manage to stay ahead of Stanfurd, however, who finished with a time of 06:22.167 in 3rd. Stanfurd had bested the Bears in The Big Row V8 race, but the Bears were faster at the Pac-12 championships.

In the end, the Golden Bears prevailed 129 to 126 over the Ohio State.

The Cal boat rosters are the following:

V8:

Hannah Christopher (Cox), 
Kendall Chase (8), 
Rowan McKellar (7), 
Inger Kavlie (6), 
Dorothee Beckendorff (5), 
Charlotte Siering (4), 
Mia Croonquist (3), 
Jacinta Edmunds (2), 
Julia Vander Hoeven (1).

2V8:

Rachel Lether (Cox),
Charlotte Wesselmann (8),
Roisin Duffy (7),
Sydney Payne (6),
Dana Moffat (5),
Ellen Heile (4),
Charlotte Passot (3),
Katherine Kelly (2),
Sarah Schwartz (1).

V4:

Riley Brown (Cox), 
Eleanor Howe (4), 
Hunter Deuel (3), 
Kendall Ritter (2),
Francis Wood (1).

ROW ON YOU BEARS!

Cal Women's Crew captured their 4th national championships in program history, according to CalBears.com. The 1980 championship is awarded by National Women's Rowing Association before crew became a NCAA sport. Bears won back-to-back championships in 2005 and 2006.

In the 2015-16 school year, this was Cal's 3rd team national championships - after the ITA Indoors title by Cal Women's Tennis and the Varsity Cup national championship won by Cal Rugby. This is the Golden Bears' 1st NCAA team championship since the Missy Franklin led Cal Women's Swimming and Diving won the NCAA crown last spring.

This (winning a national championship) was fun, Golden Bears have good shots to take home two more national championships next weekend: the Men's Crew (IRA championship) and Men's Rugby 7s (Collegiate Rugby Championship). If things do go according to plan, I will be on hand to report back for both events.

GO BEARS!