Cal may have missed out on the chance to add to its national championship title count this Saturday when Cal Rugby were edged by Life in the D1A Rugby 15s national title game, but there will be more chances in the coming month for Golden Bears glory.
With three different national championships, run by three different organization, all scheduled for the same weekend, Sunday June 2nd, 2019, could be a very special day for Cal Athletics as men’s rowing will race at the IRA Championship, women’s rowing will race at the NCAA Championship, and rugby 7s will compete at the Collegiate Rugby Championship. In 2016, Cal won the national titles in all three of these sports. This confluence of 3 national championships where Cal is perennial national title contender is rare since the two rowing championships are typically a week apart. In 2016, Cal women’s rowing won their national title a week before both Cal men’s rowing and rugby 7s won their championships on the same day.
I have both watched the crew streams in the Collegiate Rugby Championship press box and attended men’s rowing championship in Princeton, NJ before driving 1.5 hour south to Chester, PA for the rugby 7s championship in the afternoon; alas, I had not have the privilege of seeing both Cal teams win championships on the same day.
On this June 2nd, the three Cal squads will be spread out across the country with the Cal men’s rowing in Sacramento (Gold River), Cal women’s rowing in Indianapolis, and Cal rugby 7s just outside Philadelphia.
In action that weekend are the two most successful Cal men’s programs - Rugby with its 29 15s championships and 5 7s championships and Men’s Rowing with 17 championships. Additionally, Cal women’s rowing with its 5 championships (4 in the NCAA era) is the most successful Cal women’s program in terms of team success.
It is nearly guaranteed that the two Cal crews will advance all their boats to Sunday’s grand finals after the Friday and Saturday races. In Rugby 7s, Cal has not dropped a group play match on Saturday (and occasionally Friday) in its history to make it to Sunday’s final 8. I will be shocked if any of the three Cal programs is out of national title contention before that Sunday.
So mark your calendar to keep an eye on the three Cal sports on June 2nd. Or you can just follow CGB here and on Twitter for all the Cal Olympic sports championship action.