clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

California Golden Bears national championships in 2015-16 school year

It's always fun to recount the numerous national championships, both team and individual, won by the Golden Bears every year.

The Cal Rugby 7s national championship is one of 4 (or 5) won by the Golden Bears in 2015-16.
The Cal Rugby 7s national championship is one of 4 (or 5) won by the Golden Bears in 2015-16.
Ruey Yen

As the 2015-16 school year finally comes to an end (yes, I am aware that semester based school like Cal has been in the summer session for a month now), let's recount all of the national championships won by the Golden Bears in this past school year. keep track of all of the Cal National Champions. That page has conveniently been updated recently.

A great resource for tracking these National Championships is this Wikipedia page.

NCAA National Championships

Cal Women's Crew

CGB coverage

  • The Big win here is of course the team national championship. With a close 2nd place finish in the Varsity 8, the Golden Bears finally breaks the Ohio State's recent dominance for the team title. Bears take the NCAA team national championship for the 3rd time in program history and the first time since going back-to-back in 2005 and 2006. Cal Women's Crew also has won a pre-NCAA team national championship back in 1980 (it's awarded by the National Women's Rowing Association).
  • Women's Varsity 4 - Riley Brown (Cox), Eleanor Howe (4), Hunter Deuel (3), Kendall Ritter (2), and Francis Wood (1).
  • Women's Second Varsity 8 - Rachel Lether (Cox), Charlotte Wesselmann (8), Roisin Duffy (7), Sydney Payne (6), Dana Moffat (5), Ellen Heile (4), Charlotte Passot (3), Katherine Kelly (2), and Sarah Schwartz (1).

Also a part of the national championship winning TEAM is the Varsity 8 boat, consisting of Hannah Christopher (Cox), Kendall Chase (8), Rowan McKellar (7), Inger Kavlie (6), Dorothee Beckendorff (5), Charlotte Siering (4), Mia Croonquist (3), Jacinta Edmunds (2), and Julia Vander Hoeven (1).

Cal Men's Swimming

CGB coverage

The Bears finished 2nd to Texas in the team championship race, but once again claimed several individual national championships.

  • Ryan Murphy - 100-yard backstroke, 43.49; this is actually Murphy's 2nd fastest 100 back time from the 2016 NCAA championship. Murphy breaks the 100 back record while swimming the leadoff leg of the 400 medley relay.
  • Ryan Murphy - 200-yard backstroke, 1:35.73; a record breaking swim by Ryan Murphy to break his own record from before. Check out the full swim in this video here.
  • Josh Prenot - 400-yard individual medley, 3:35.82

Junior Ryan Murphy has now won both the NCAA championship in 100 Back AND 200 Back for three straight years. Senior Josh Prenot won the 400 IM as a first time individual NCAA champion.

Cal Women's Swimming

CGB coverage (need to scroll down to the bottom)

With Missy Franklin turning pro and two key members of the much heralded recruiting class missing the NCAA (one deferred and another one was injured), the Golden Bears finished 3rd in the NCAA team championships.

Nevertheless, the Bears picked up yet another individual NCAA title and a relay title.

  • Rachel Bootsma - 100-yard backstroke, 50.28
  • 200-yard freestyle relay (1:26.80, Amy Bilquist, Farida Osman, Kristen Vredeveld, Valerie Hull)

Senior Rachel Bootsma, a Calympian from the London 2012 games, concluded her Cal career with her 3rd 100 Back title in 4 years.

The 200 Free relay win is sort of a surprised, particularly the names involved. Amy Bilquist is a future Calympian and Farida Osman will represent Egypt in the Olympics this year. Kristen Vredeveld and Valerie Hull are more of the unsung depth of the always very talented Cal Women's Swimming squad.

With the 4 individual championships won in this school year, Cal now owns 176 individual national championships.

The relay victory makes it 44 relay national championships in Cal history.

The one NCAA national championship makes it 36 NCAA team national championships.

Non-NCAA National Championships

Cal Rugby 15s

CGB coverage

Cal Rugby won the 2016 Varsity Cup national championship with a brilliant 40-29 victory over BYU Cougars. Despite being a heavy underdog going into this year's final, the Golden Bears persevered to finally take down BYU in 4th straight Varsity Cup final between the two squads (2016 is the 4th year of the Varsity Cup, by the way).

Senior captain Russell Webb was named the Man of the Match for his brilliant performance to spark the Cal comeback.

This was the Golden Bears' 27th Rugby 15s national championship in program history and the very first one from the Varsity Cup.

Cal Rugby 7s

CGB coverage

Cal Rugby the completed the double of winning both the 15s title and the 7s title when they four-peated as the championship of the Collegiate Rugby Championships.

Bears defeated UCLA in the final by a 31-7 margin.

Senior Jesse Milne was named the MVP of the championship match.

The 4-peat represents the Golden Bears's 4th Rugby 7s national championships. The Collegiate Rugby Championships was started in 2010, so the Bears had won 4 out of 7 titles as of 2016.

Counting both the 15s and 7s national titles, Cal Rugby now owns 31 national championships.

Cal Men's Crew (aka Varsity 8)

CGB coverage

The Golden Bears won the 2016 Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships. The IRA national championship is awarded to the school that wins the Varsity 8 race.

Cal Varsity 8 Lineup: Cox Julian Venonsky, Natan Wegrzycki-Szymczyk, Martin Mackovic, Maarten Hurkmans, Joachim Sutton, Niki VanSprang, Ferdi Querfeld, Morgan Hellen, Alex Wallis

Bears actually also won the team total point title, the Ten Eyck trophy, which combines the results from all of the boats. This is merely the Bears' 2nd Ten Eyck trophy in history. Bears also won this in 2006.

Ten Eyck team trophy champions! #GOBEARS

A photo posted by @calcrew on

The 2016 IRA title is the 17th in Cal Men's Crew history. Bears last won the IRA National Championship back in 2010.


The 4 team national championships mentioned above brings the Cal historical total up to 93.

Finally, I was not sure how the official Cal Athletics webpage will account for the Women's Tennis ITA Indoors National Championship. Apparently, they have decided that it doesn't count amongst the 93 team national championship won in Cal history. Nevertheless, I think it is only appropriate to also mention this national championship in this post, the CGB record will honor this achievement - the very first Cal Women's Tennis team national title.

Cal Women's Tennis

CGB coverage

Cal Women's Tennis Facebook

Cal Women's Tennis won the first team tennis championship in program history this winter when they won the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Women's Team Indoor National Championship in Madison, Wisconsin.