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Rio 2016 Olympic Calympian: Nareg Guregian, Men's Rowing, USA

Cal alum and former Pac-10 Athlete of the Year Nareg Guregian will be making his first Olympic appearance when he races in men's pair in Rio.

Cal Men's Crew alum Nareg Guregian (right) will be racing in the pairs competition in Rio with his Brown Bears alum partner Ander Weiss.
Cal Men's Crew alum Nareg Guregian (right) will be racing in the pairs competition in Rio with his Brown Bears alum partner Ander Weiss.

Nareg Guregian

Sport: Rowing (Coxless pair)

Country: U.S.A.

Twitter: @Nareg_G

Birthday: January 20th, 1989 (age 27)

Hometown: born in North Hills, California, his Cal bio says that he grew up in San Clemente, California

Cal affiliation: California Golden Bears alum (Media Studies and Mass Communications, '10)

Years at Cal: 2006-2010

Olympic appearances: Nareg will be a 1st time Calympian in Rio

Cal Achievements:

Nareg Guregian is a member of the Cal men's crew national championships (V8 race) winning team of 2010 at the IRA Championships (the last time that the Golden Bears have won the men's rowing national title prior to this year), his senior season. Nareg also won Pac-12 Rowing Athlete of the Year honor that year.

In his freshman year, Nareg rowed for the IRA and Pac-10 winning freshman 8 Cal boat. By his sophomore year, Nareg has advanced to the Varsity 8 boat. The Golden Bears in 2008 finished 2nd in the Pac-120 and 4th at the IRA. In his junior year in 2009, Nareg and the Cal Varsity 8 boat won the Pac-10 title and placed 2nd in the IRA.

From Nareg's post race (Olympic qualifying) interview with Row2k:

row2k: So now is it "Go Bears," or "Go USA?"
Guregian: Once I saw Cal win here (at the IRA), I've never been so happy for someone, truly. I didn't think I'd be that excited for them. But it was just this motivating feeling, where once I saw them win, it kind of really just woke me up. It really was this feeling of just like, all right, let's get to work.

Mike Teti came and was giving me advice. Scott Frandsen helped coach us a little bit. Kris Korzeniowski's been helping us a lot. So, we had a really good group of people supporting us. My fiancée Katelin (Snyder, coxswain of the US women's eight) has been nothing but supportive for the both of us, and we would not have been here with them at all.

So the Golden Bears in stroke and the Brown Bear in bow. Anders did truly a hell of a job from the top; he pulled me around the first 1750, so he just saved me, and then I went the last 250. That's a fair compromise.

International Achievements:

A member of the U.S. senior national team since 2010, Nareg has been compiling an impressive resume leading up to this Olympic games.

From his US Rowing bio:

Won bronze in the eight at the 2015 Pan American Games...Finished fourth in the straight four at the 2015 Pan American Games...Won gold in the eight at the 2014 World Rowing Cup II...Won bronze in the eight at the 2013 World Rowing Championships...Won gold in the eight at the 2013 Samsung World Rowing Cup 3...Won silver in the eight at the 2013 Samsung World Rowing Cup 1...Finished second in the eight at the 2011 E.On Hanse Cup...Finished eighth in the eight at the 2011 World Rowing Championships...Finished fourth in the eight at the 2011 Rowing World Cup stop in Lucerne...Reached the semifinals of the Grand Challenge Cup at the 2011 Henley Royal Regatta...Finished fourth in the pair with coxswain at the 2010 World Rowing Championships...Won silver in the eight at the 2010 World Rowing Under 23 Championships...Finished second in the four at the 2009 World Rowing Under 23 Championships...Finished fifth in the eight at the 2007 World Rowing Junior Championships...Won the Temple Challenge Cup at the 2007 Henley Royal Regatta.

More on Nareg and his Rio outlook:

With a course record, Cal Golden Bears alum Nareg Guregian and partner Brown Bears alum Anders Weiss (Guregian in stroke, Weiss in bow) book the last spots on Team USA for men's rowing by winning the men's pair. In a very tight race, Guregian and Weiss went all out early, took the early lead in the first 500 meters, and held on for the win for the full 2000 meters.

Nareg will see some familiar faces in Rio, from the NBC Olympics interview (warning, the full interview contains some mild Game of Thrones spoilers...the interview was BEFORE the latest season finale):

Have you become close friends with any competitors from other countries?

Yeah, rowing in college at Cal was a great experience because we had a lot of international rowers. We had guys who are on other respected national teams that I rowed with in school. We had Marko Marjanović - who is a Serbian - who is going to the Olympics in the double. We had Olivier Siegelaar, who is in the boat with me when we won in 2010 as well as Will Dean who is in the Canadian quad. We're still really close and keep in touch pretty often. We always check up on each other to see how we're doing. It's kind of fun but it's also a little disappointing that none of us are in the same boat category. We're all racing different ones, so we can't race each other and have a little bit of a competitive spirit about it.

In his Row2k interview, Nareg Guregian mentioned watching the Kiwis. The New Zealand pair of Eric Murray and Hamish Bond were the Gold medalists at London in 2012 for men's (coxless) pair. That pair is back and probably is the favorite for the Gold again. A U.S. pair finished with the Bronze. Guregian and Weiss should be in the mix for a medal, although it will likely be some really tight races.

With a wedding planned in December, Nareg and his fiancee, Katelin Snyder - a Washington grad who is also going to Rio as the coxswain of the U.S. Women's Eights boat, are both focused on representing their country well down in Rio. Actual honeymoon can wait. Nevertheless, the two lovebirds who met in Princeton while training to make the Olympics will hopefully find some downtime to enjoy Rio together as well.

Good luck to Nareg in Rio and ROW ON YOU BEARS!