As herds of Cal students head to San Diego to bask in the sun for a relaxing spring break, Cal women’s crew will be heading down south to kick start its spring season at the San Diego Crew Classic on Saturday.
For the first time in three years, the Bears will return to the waters of Mission Bay. Cal will be participating in four events: the Varsity Jessop-Whittier Cup Invitational, the Varsity 4+ Karen Plumleigh Cortney Cup, the 2V Jackie Ann Stitt Hungness Trophy and the Open 8+ Carley Copley Cup.
The last time the Bears attended the San Diego Crew Classic was in 2019. Despite a strong start in the preliminary races, clinching the No. 1 spot in the heats for all four events, Cal was unable to place first in three of the events’ finals. However, with strong additions to the team this year, the blue and gold are more than equipped to claim victory this weekend.
Every year, as seniors graduate, college sports teams go out with the old and in with the new. Luckily for Cal women’s crew, the team is not only in with the new but also welcoming back two seniors: Juliane Faralisch and Issy Cassidy.
“They are returning super senior team captains, and they’ve done a great job bringing a ton of enthusiasm and leadership to the team,” said Cal head coach Al Acosta.
Faralisch took a two-year hiatus from the Bears to work on making the German Olympic team. During her time at Cal, Faralisch was not only named the Pac-12 Women’s Rowing Newcomer of the Year as a freshman, but she also assisted the Bears in claiming the NCAA title as a sophomore.
Cassidy, a fifth-year senior from the United Kingdom, has spent the last year at home as a result of COVID-19 regulations. As a sophomore, she claimed bronze in the varsity four at the Pac-12 championships.
Relying on these captains is the incoming freshman class of 18 rowers, including athletes who were recruited throughout the pandemic.
“They’re all a trusting and adventurous bunch,” Acosta said. “They’ve taken to the training wholeheartedly and have added a lot of energy.”
For these freshmen, the San Diego Crew Classic will be their first time participating in a 2K race at the collegiate level.
“I’m sure there’ll be a lot of nerves but also an equal amount of excitement for the opportunity,” Acosta said.
With experienced seniors helping lead an enthusiastic team, Cal women’s crew is eager to start its season.