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Golden Medals: Cal M. Golf wins 2 straight tournaments, M. Crew set course record in Boston

Cal Cross Country racing for Pac-12 crown today from Oregon.

Hole on You Bears! Cal Men’s Golf is one of the best team in the country in 2017-18 by winning their 2nd tournament this week.
Cal Men’s Golf (Photo credit to Todd Drexler, SE Sports Media)

Cal Men’s Golf wins 2nd consecutive tournament

Rallying from behind, Cal Men’s Golf won the prestigious Tavistock tournament from Florida against some of the toughest teams in the country this past week. Bears was able to edge out Illinois (who had a big lead going to the final round) and host Florida by just one stroke in the final two holes for the win.

When the wins are big the trophies are heavy. Tavistock champs. #GoBears

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Collin Morikawa, who had one of the best individual season in Cal history last year, led the way for the Bears with a -6 final round en route to -9 for the tournament, good for 2nd overall behind Dylan Meyer of Illinois who shot a -11 in 3 rounds. When Illinois and Florida faltered in the final holes of round 3, the Golden Bears remain calm and steady. When it was over, the Bears have comeback from being 9 strokes down at the beginning of play on Tuesday.

With the return of KK Limbhasut and Sebastian Crampton from their academic redshirt seasons and the addition of a top freshman in Kaiwen Liu. Ben Doyle rounds out the lineup for the Bears this fall, although Jamie Cheatham, who also took a redshirt last year to recover from both injury and focus on academic, may take that last spot eventually.

Individual result:

2. Collin Morikawa (72-69-66 – 207, -9)

T17. KK Limbhasut (73-70-72 – 215, -1)

T31. Kaiwen Liu (71-76-73 – 220, +4)

T44. Sebastian Crampton (77-72-73 – 222, +6)

T65. Ben Doyle (71-77-79 – 227, +11)

Team result:

1. Cal (287-287-284 – 858, -6)

T2. Illinois (279-286-294 – 859, -5)

T2. Florida (282-285-292 – 859, -5)

4. Vanderbilt (291-287-283 – 861, -3)

5. Auburn (293-286-285 – 864, E)

6. North Florida (290-291-289 – 870, +6)

T7. LSU (289-293-289 – 871, +7)

T7. Texas Tech (286-296-289 – 871, +7)

9. North Carolina (294-298-284 – 876, +12)

10. Arizona (292-301-286 – 879, +15)

11. Purdue (291-292-298 – 881, +17)

12. Arizona State (297-295-290 – 882, +18)

13. UCF (297-294-292 – 883, +19)

14. North Texas (295-305-285 – 885, +21)

15. Augusta (295-300-296 – 891, +27)

16. West Virginia (296-300-297 – 893, +29)

17. UAB (294-301-302 – 897, +33)

Bears won the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational after dominating the Alister MacKenzie Invitational, Cal’s home tournament, two weeks earlier. Bears won that tournament by a 17 stroke margin.

With a full roster in his 2nd year as the head coach, Walter Chun (Cal alum and long time coach under Steve Desimone) has proven to be the right choice to lead the Golden Bears.

The future is really bright for this Cal Men’s Golf team, even if the NCAA format switches from stroke play to match play for the final 8. Bears will try to win program’s 2nd NCAA championship (1st was 2004) and challenge the 2012 team (which ended the year in the NCAA semifinal in match play) for the most tournament wins in a season. The 2012 squad won 4 regular season tournaments in addition to the Pac-12 crown.

Cal Men’s Golf has proven to the model program in Cal Athletics. Thanks to sponsorship and smart fundraising, the program is basically self-financed (the goal for all other Cal non-revenue programs). The team also prides itself in allowing their student-athlete the freedom to focus on academics (half the team is in the prestigious Haas School of Business) by smartly using the redshirt year.

Bears will wrap their 2017 fall season with one more tournament. The Ka’anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational will take place November 3rd - 5th from Lahaina, Hawaii.


Cal Men’s Crew set course record at Head of the Charles

Coming off a disappointing 5th place finish for the Varsity 8 at the IRA Championship in 2017, Cal Men’s Crew certainly trained hard in the offseason to prove that the last year’s championship race was a weird aberration. With some of the same rowers from the 2016 IRA national champions still around, the Bears put the crew world on notice by sending a Varsity 8 boat to the Head of the Charles last weekend that dominated and broke the course record.

Bears also sent a Varsity 4 boat that placed 1st amongst college teams, and 2nd overall (behind a team of pros).

John Amorosana, Joachim Sutton, Maarten Hurkmans, Jack Gosden-Kaye, Natan Wegrzycki-Szymczyk, Ferdinand Querfeld, Rudolph Querfeld, Martin Mackovic, and Christoph Seifriedsberger competed in the eight. This group shattered the course record set in 2007. Here is the insane part, the 2017 Golden Bears finished in a time of 13:27.7, topping the mark of 13:58.9 set by the United States' men's eight in 1997 by over 31 seconds. The IRA national championship is given to the school that wins the Varsity 8 race at the end of the season.

Brett Cataldo, Alex Wallis, Marcin Pawlowski, George Finlayson and James Riley raced for the Bears in the four.

Bears will send a freshman 8 boat to Princeton, NJ for the Princeton Chase this Sunday while the rest compete at the Head of American in Lake Natoma.


Cal Cross Country racing in Pac-12 Championship today

From Springfield, Oregon at 11 AM, Cal and the rest of the Pac-12 will be racing in the Pac-12 Championships today (coverage on Pac-12 Networks). The men will race 4 laps while the women will race around for 3 laps.

Like in most sports, the Pac-12, conference of champions, is quite good across the board. For the women, Cal is ranked 28th in the country, behind Oregon (1), Colorado (3), Washington (13), Stanford (14), and Utah (27). For the men, the unranked Bears will race Colorado (5), Stanford (6), Oregon (8), UCLA (14), Washington State (20), and Washington (21) amongst the other Pac-12 schools. Bears finished 6th for both the men and the women in the Pac last year and hope to repeat at a similar spot.

Individually, this may be where the Bears can shine today. For the women, senior Bethan Knights and freshman Brie Oakley are two that may challenge for the title. Knights finished 7th overall last year.

For the Cal men, redshirt senior Trent Brendel is expected to be the top finisher.

Last year, the Cal men made the NCAA (which will be based on the NCAA Regional on November 10th from Seattle, Washington) as a team while the women only qualified Knights. I think the expectation in 2017 is for both squads to qualify for the NCAA championships, taking place on November 18th from Louisville, Kentucky.

Cal Women’s Golf finished 3rd at the weather shortened Pac-12 preview

Cal Women’s Golf played two rounds of golf earlier this week from Hawaii before the weather (rain and lightning) cancelled the final round.

With a final team score of +8, the Bears finished just behind No.2 UCLA (-20) and No.7 Stanford (-9) but ahead of No. 11 Colorado, No.26 Washington, No.4 Arizona State, No.39 Arizona and No.12 USC.

Individually, the Bears were led by junior Marianne Li. It is a fairly veteran squad for a program that made the NCAA Championship in the spring of 2017. Everyone other than Cindy Oh competed at the NCAA last year (Li qualified as an individual in 2016).

T7. Marianne Li (72+73=145)

T15. Jiyoon Jang (74+74=148)

T20. Cindy Oh (74+75=149)

T26. Marthe Wold (74+76=150)

T45. Maria Herraez (74+81=155)

The fall season for the Golden Bears concluded with this tournament. The Bears will compete next in February of 2018.

Cal Women’s Soccer (13-3-1, 6-2-1) saw 5 match win streak and Pac-12 chance end on Thursday

The tough gauntlet of visiting USC, UCLA, and Stanford (all ranked in the top 6 in the country) to close out the regular season started yesterday. After senior goalie Emily Boyd set her record for most minutes without allowing a goal (510 minutes), the Bears concede a 2nd half goal to lose 1-0 to No.5 USC.

This loss eliminated any chance of the Golden Bears earning a share of the Pac-12 title in 2017. However, the Bears can just look at USC (who has never won the Pac-12 title) for inspiration as the Trojans have won two NCAA championships in the past decade without ever winning the Pac-12.

Last Sunday, the Bears pushed their winning (and shutout) streak to 5 matches with a 3-0 home win over Oregon on Senior Day.

Bears will next face No.6 UCLA, who lost 1-0 to Stanford also on Thursday, for essentially a fight for 3rd place in the Pac on Sunday at 1 pm PT. Bears will conclude the regular season at Stanford next Friday. A win or two to close out the season may earn the Golden Bears a national seed in the NCAA tournament. Otherwise, the Bears are still in great shape to host at least the first round (or two) of the NCAA tournament.

Cal Volleyball (12-9, 3-7 in Pac-12) begins Pac-12 2nd half at the Arizona schools

If Cal Volleyball wants to make the NCAA tournament (which require a winning record), they would need to do slightly better in the 2nd half of Pac-12 play than the 3-7 record in the first half.

The 2nd half starts with a trip to the Arizona schools, starting with a match against Arizona tonight. Bears were able to sweep both Arizona schools in Berkeley earlier this year. Consequently, a road sweep this weekend would go a long way toward securing that 4-6 record for the 2nd half.

Last week, the Bears defeated Washington State 3-1 before being swept by Washington in straight sets. The win over the Cougars ran the home winning streak to 9 before it was broken by the Huskies.

In the 2nd half of the season, the Bears will host the Oregon schools next week (got swept by them on the road in the first half), visit the Washington schools, host the LA schools, before finishing the year with visits by Colorado (only match) and Stanford (Big Spike to close the year on November 25th).

Again, the Bears would need to win 4 matches to finish with a 16-15 record. It is certainly plausible, but it will not be easy.

The rest of the Cal teams have this weekend off before some key games next week.

Cal Field Hockey (9-7, 4-2 in AE) wins home finale, lost regular season finale at Stanford

Bears defeated UC Davis 3-2 in OT last Friday thanks to another golden goal from freshman superstar Megan Rodgers. However, the Bears were not able to get the season sweep on rival Stanford when they dropped the regular season finale by a 4-0 result.

Bears will next play in the America East tournament from Lowell, Massachusetts next week, starting on Thursday.

Cal Men’s Soccer (9-5, 4-3 in Pac-12) drops two straight in Pacific Northwest

After a tough 2-1 (OT) loss at Oregon State, the Bears were defeated 3-0 by Washington.

Bears will return to Berkeley to host SDSU and UCLA on Thursday and Sunday next week before ending the season at Stanford. The Bears probably have already done enough to make the NCAA, but another win or two can definitely help with the seeding.

Cal Men’s Water Polo (17-1, 1-0 in MPSF) wins at UCLA and LBSU

ICYMI, Cal Men’s Water Polo avenged their lone loss on the year with a dominant 12-9 win at UCLA. They followed it up with a 14-8 win at Long Beach State.

Bears will host USC next Saturday at 11 AM PT on the Pac-12 Networks (a battle for the top seed in the MPSF tournament) before a weird Thursday Big Splash at Stanford on the following Thursday.