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Cal Women’s V8+ lost perfect season bid at NCAA, Cal Men’s V8+ placed 4th at IRA championships

Cal women’s shot at a team repeat is foiled by 2V8 not making the grand final. Cal men may surprise if they can somehow best Yale and Washington today.

Cal Men’s Rowing Twitter (Photo Credit: Zach Franzen)


Good news, Cal crew did claim one national championship - congratulations to Cal men’s 2V8+ boat for winning their grand final.

Congratulations to this crew.

Sadly for the men, for the main race that matters, Cal V8+ fell to a 4th place finish behind Yale (repeat champions now under former Cal head coach Steve Gladstone), Washington, and Harvard.

In the other Men’s races from the IRA Championships, Cal took 5th in 3V8 and 2nd in V4.

On the women’s side, Cal’s chance to repeat as team champions have already been dashed by not qualifying all three boats for the Grand Final. However, the Bears still have plenty to race for, especially a shot at a rare perfect season for the Cal V8+ boat. Unfortunately, that boat ended up finishing 5th in an extremely close race.

Relegated to the petite final on Saturday, Cal 2V8+ did win 7th place.

Lastly, Cal V4+ boat took 6th place.

Washington swept all three races for the NCAA team championship.

In retrospect, I may have jinxed (if you believed in such as thing) by writing about how great today (June 2nd, 2019) may be for Cal Athletics with potential of winning up to 3 team national championships. We already know that Rugby 7s won’t have a shot due to the surprising Saturday results. It turns out that Cal Women’s Rowing may also have blown their shot due to the Saturday results of the 2nd Varsity 8 boat.

On the topic of negative/sad news, let’s not even pay that much attention to how Cal Athletics had self audited their own claims of team national championships in history and dropped their total claims from 99 down to 97 (breaking that down is a different article) since about two months ago.

Nonetheless, there are still plenty of individual boat national titles at stakes today. Who knows, maybe the Cal men’s crew can somehow shock and win their 18th national title in program history.

Cal Women’s Rowing at NCAA Championships

This is the schedule for the Cal women today. First, the Varsity 8 boat will be going for a perfect season by racing for the V8+ trophy. Golden Bears are the defending V8+ champs from last year and it will be quite special if the Bears can win back-to-back championships for the biggest race of NCAA women’s rowing, particularly with that boat having gone undefeated all year long.

Unlike the IRA Championships, the grand prize is given to the summation of the three race results rather than the V8+ race result. Cal’s chance to repeat as NCAA team champs or win their 5th NCAA team title in program history took a serious shot on Saturday when the 2V8+ boat got edged for the 3rd and final spot to Sunday’s Grand Final by Texas (led by former Cal women’s rowing head coach Dave O’Neil). The 2V8+ will only be racing for 7th place today.

Cal V4+ boat, which I had more doubts about making the Grand Final given that they were the 9th overall seed coming into the NCAA championships, did grab a spot in the Grand Final of that race.

Washington, being the overwhelming favorites in 2V8+ and V4+ races, will probably win the team championship now, barring some disastrous finish in the V8+ for them (I’m not even sure if DQ is possible in crew).

You can find the free NCAA video stream of the Sunday action from Indianapolis, IN here.

Cal Men’s Rowing at IRA Championships

Things are simpler in Men’s Rowing with the V8+ boat result being the main decider although one of the trophy given out on Sunday will be for the team point total winner.

Cal managed to advance all 4 boats (V8+, 2V8+, 3V8+, V4+) to the respective Grand Finals on Sunday.

For the big prize, Cal’s V8+ boat finished 2nd to Yale (last year’s champ) in the semifinal. Golden Bears have not been able to beat either the Yale Bulldogs nor the Washington Huskies in races yet this season, but they will get another shot.

The 6 teams racing for the 2019 IRA Championships are Yale, Washington, Cal, Harvard, Princeton, and Northeastern.

The main V8+ Grand Final is scheduled for 11:12 AM PT.

You can watch all of the Sunday action from Lake Natoma (just outside Sacramento) in the embedded YouTube video below:

On a random note, if you have free time, you can watch Cal men’s rowing head coach Scott Frandsen in an episode of the Canadian Wipeout Athlete’s edition below. The Cal alum and Canadian Olympic Silver Medalist does do pretty well.