INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- California, ranked fourth nationally, saw all three of its boats advance to the semifinals of the NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships on Friday at Eagle Creek Park. The varsity eight and varsity four each won its heat with the second varsity eight placing second in its heat during Friday’s action.
"All three boats had good races [Friday] morning, and it's always good to go right to the semifinals,” California head women’s rowing coach Dave O’Neill said. "The first eight has really come together since the Pac-12 Championships, and they did exact what they were looking to do. The second eight showed they have some speed and know what needs to be done moving forward. Our last race of the morning was the four. This might have been the eighth or ninth combination that's raced, and they look to be heading in the right direction.”The varsity eight won its heat by six seconds (6:19.335 – 6:25.482) versus second-place Princeton in the Golden Bears’ first race of the morning. UCLA placed third with a time of 6:31.291. Princeton raced out to the early lead, but the Bears pulled level by the midway point and cruised to the win.
The Bears also captured the top spot in the varsity four, leading from the start and winning by six seconds over second-place Virginia. Cal raced down the course in 7:07.874, ahead of UVA (7:13.488) and third-place UCLA (7:28.542).
Cal’s second varsity placed second in its heat with a time of 6:33.099, six seconds back of Ohio State (6:27.695). Harvard placed third with a time of 6:38.406. The Bears jumped out to a lead after 500 meters, before the Buckeyes pulled ahead around the midway point of the course.
The semifinals of each of the three races begins at 8:30 a.m. ET on Saturday.
"After the first morning of racing we look to be in pretty good shape, but there's a long way to go,” O’Neill said. “[Saturday's] semifinals are always really tight racing, so we'll need to be fully prepared for what's ahead."