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Big Row: Cal Women’s Rowing Varsity 8 crew stays undefeated in win over Stanford

Both Cal and Stanford will honor Costello with “Team Jill” jerseys.

Golden Bears will be “Team Jill” for the Big Row on Saturday.
Cal Athletics Twitter

Saturday morning update:

Cal’s V8+ boat stays undefeated on the year and win the biggest race in the Big Row.

Unfortunately, I’m now genuinely concerned about a lack of depth that might prevent Cal Women’s Rowing from repeating at the NCAA as team champs.

Both 2V8+ and V4+ lost to Stanford in the other races that would matter for the NCAA.

Stanford has even more depth behind those boats by claiming the 3V8+ and 2V4+ races.

That was after Cal took the first race with the freshmen (although it sounds like the Stanford team for this race are usually lightweight boat rowers).

Well, there are two more weeks until the Pac-12 Championships from Gold River in Sacramento and two more weeks after that until the NCAA Championships. Still got more time for the Cal Women’s Rowing Crew to improve (taper their time) before the main race of the season.


As a final tune up before the Pac-12 and NCAA Championships, the defending NCAA champs Cal Women’s Rowing will race rival Stanford in the annual Big Row on Saturday morning from Redwood Shores.

Expect Cal dominance in the V8+ while the 2V8+ and V4+ could be quite close, but that’s not really the main focus at the annual Big Row has been transformed into a celebration of former Cal coxswain Jill Costello who bravely battled lung cancer but still passed away back in 2010 at age 22.

On the season, Cal V8+ boat has stayed undefeated.

Bears won both the Jessop-Whittier Cup for winning the San Diego Crew Classic as well as retains the Simpson Cup (annual dual against UW) for the 6th straight year for beating Washington, Cal’s main competition again for the NCAA team title, twice.

The NCAA format for women’s rowing is different from that of IRA championships for men’s rowing. Although V8+ result is half of the championship (and the tie-breaker), the results from 2V8+ and V4+ also count toward the final team total. In edging Washington for the 2018 NCAA crown, Cal won both the V8+ and V4+ while placing 2nd in 2V8+ to win by two points.

Washington (and also Stanford) finished ahead of the Bears in both the 2V8+ and V4+ at the San Diego Crew Classic. The margins were closer but the wins still went to the Huskies in the dual meet.

Golden Bears’ shot at repeating as NCAA team champions will probably come down to how much the 2V8+ and V4+ improve between now and the NCAA championship from Indianapolis, IN on May 31st to June 2nd. A big boost for those boats would be winning

Schedule (All times PST)

9:00 a.m. – Frosh/Novice

9:12 a.m. – Women’s Third Varsity 8+

9:24 a.m. – Women’s Second Varsity 4+

9:36 a.m. – Women’s Varsity 4+

9:48 a.m. – Women’s Second Varsity 8+

10:00 a.m. – Women’s Varsity 8+


And since it’s Star Wars day,