Cal wins key Lake Natoma Invite
Golden Bears' varsity eight takes three races in major event
GOLD RIVER, Calif. -- Eighth-ranked California finished the weekend with four grand final victories at the Lake Natoma Invitational. The Golden Bears' varsity eight boat won its third race of the weekend on Sunday.
Cal was primarily racing against Stanford and Wisconsin in the grand finals.
"It was a terrific weekend for our team, and we took a big step forward," head coach Dave O'Neill said. "There was a fair amount of switching, both planned and unplanned, among the NCAA crews, and everyone responded quite well. Both Stanford and Wisconsin looked to be on form, so it was a good test for us."
Cal's varsity eight topped second-place Wisconsin by nearly four seconds 6:35.5-6:39. The second varsity eight beat Stanford by five seconds and the varsity four won by four seconds, as well.
The closest race of the day was the freshman eight. Cal edged Wisconsin to the finish line 6:45-6:46.9.
After competing in a regatta like the Lake Natoma Invitational, an event that has major implications on NCAA pairings, things don't get any easier for the Bears going forward.
"The Washington race is always a big deal, and that will certainly be the case next weekend," O'Neill said of the annual dual with the Huskies. "We have some things to figure out, but we're heading in the right direction."