The Sooners opened the day with No. 2 California, the first ranked team OU has faced this season. The Golden Bears won all four races in the morning session on Redwood Shores' 2,000 meter course. OU responded in the afternoon against Oregon State with wins in the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four before a close defeat in the novice eight.
"We have a great deal of respect for these Pac 12 teams and learned a lot from our races today against two very good programs," OU head coach Leeanne Crain said. "Cal is very fast and we struggled a bit during the morning session. The second varsity eight had a pretty solid race but we just didn't quite have the speed to stay with them in the second thousand meters. I thought we raced with more composure against Oregon State, and it was nice to close out the afternoon with three wins in the varsity events."
In addition to Cal and Oregon State, the field featured No. 17 Clemson, Northeastern and fellow Pac 12 member No. 9 Stanford. The three Pac 12 schools each compete once against OU, CU and NU. The Sooners and Cardinal square off Sunday morning.
Against the Golden Bears, the Sooners' varsity eight suffered a 13.2-second loss and finished in 6:43.0. It was the first loss for OU's top boat in six races. Oklahoma came back in the afternoon to defeat Oregon State with a 6:33.4 finish, 8.0 seconds faster than OSU.
The second varsity eight posted OU's closest race against second-ranked Cal and crossed the line in 6:43.8, just behind the Bears' 6:36.0. In the afternoon, the boat notched Oklahoma's largest win with an 11.6 second margin. The Sooners finished in 6:33.7 for the second-fastest time of the day for any OU boat.
After a 7-0 start to the season, the varsity four suffered its first loss of the season to California, OU finished in 7:44.5, behind Cal's winning time of 7:15.1. Much like the first two varsity races against the Beavers, the Sooners responded with a 3.3 second win and finished in 7:22.4.
OU's novice eight fell to California by 23.5 seconds before a narrow 4.3 second loss to Oregon State. The Sooners finished in 7:09.2 in the morning session before a 6:59.8 finish in the afternoon against the Beavers.
The Pac 12 Challenge concludes Sunday morning when the Sooners and ninth-ranked Cardinal compete on Redwood Shores. The first race is scheduled for 11:10 a.m. CT.
/// SoonerSports PR