No.1 Cal cruises to the 2022 IRA National Championship
This 18th Cal Men's Rowing title is the 100th team championship across all sports for Cal
The IRA Championship trophy is heading back to Berkeley!
Living up to their No.1 ranking, Cal Men’s Rowing won the Varsity 8+ Grand Final on Sunday morning from Lake Mercer in New Jersey. Golden Bears dethroned a Yale team that had won the title three times but did not compete last year.
As expected, it was a tight race in the beginning between Cal, Yale, and defending champ Washington, but the Bears quickly got a clear lead at about the 500m mark of the 2000m race. Cal cruised to a 2+ second win.
Brown was able to overtake Washington for the last podium position.
1. California - 5:44.239
2. Yale - 5:46.339
3. Brown - 5:49.133
4. Washington - 5:52.365
5. Syracuse - 5:53.007
6. Harvard - 5:56.147
Cal fans can watch the Cal V8+ Grand Final dominance in the YouTube video below (the race starts at around the 3:06.15 mark).
The Cal V8+ boat consists of two 2021 Tokyo Olympians in freshman Gennaro di Mauro (Italy) and junior Angus Dawson (Australia) along with an Olympic alternate in senior Ollie Maclean (New Zealand) who was named Pac-12 Athlete of the Year. The rest of the boat, coxed by sophomore Luca Viera, includes Iwan Hadfield (freshman), Elliot Kemp (senior), Tim Roth (freshman), Frederik Breuer (sophomore), and Campbell Crouch (junior).
Just like the last Cal IRA Champion boat in 2016 that produced five first-time “Calympians” for last year’s delayed Tokyo Games on top of another rower with previous Olympic experience, one should not be surprised if more members of this boat achieve their Olympic dreams for 2024 Paris.
Sunday morning’s success marked the 18th overall IRA title in the long Cal Men’s Rowing history. This win also allowed Cal to reach triple-digit in team national championships with a nice and round 100 (and counting).
This was also Scott Frandsen’s first national championship as the Cal head coach. Frandsen, a Cal alum and Canadian “Calympian” who won a Silver, had also won championships both as a rower and as an assistant coach, including back in 2016. Frandsen was able to best his former head coach Steve Gladstone, who now runs the Yale program. Read about their mutual respect in this nice piece from SI here.
In other races, Cal’s 2V8+ boat finished just behind Yale for the Silver. The 3V8+ boat finished 5th in that Grand Final. On Saturday, Cal V4+ won the Petit Final (essentially 7th in that event). Yale claimed the total point trophy (Ten Eyck) by winning 2V8+, 3V8+, and V4+ in addition to the V8+ silver.
Expect more exciting races between Cal and Yale (and don’t forget Washington) in the next few years.
For this 2021-22 school year, California Golden Bears men have absolutely dominated the water sports with the NCAA Championships in Men’s Water Polo and Men’s Swimming and Diving in addition to this IRA Championship in Men’s Rowing.
WATER IS BEAR TERRITORY!
Last but not least, Cal Track and Field Athletes will compete at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship this week. After that, we can finally hibernate for the summer until the next school year this Fall.
Can we now make the "C" in Cal gold on our jerseys? Oh wait......already is..... : )