“We knew to come away with victories over Cal it was going to take our best effort,” said head coach Yasmin Farooq. “We couldn’t have asked for a better opponent for our final race of the regular season. I am really proud of our girls for stepping up, executing the race plans and coming away with the wins.”
The last time Stanford won the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four races in the Big Row was 2009 when the Cardinal went on to claim its first NCAA Team Championship.
The varsity eight won the Lambert Cup for the first time since 2009, topping Cal by three seconds. Stanford’s time of 6:26.5 was nearly six seconds faster than the time they put up last weekend against No. 9 USC.
“Going into the race we had a great warmup and were collectively fired up,” said senior Kristy Wentzel. “We had the mindset to do whatever it took to win.”
Stanford got off to a good start, but knew that Cal was one of the best teams in the country and wouldn’t go quietly. They would have to keep pulling hard to earn their fourth win of the spring.
“We kept holding them off from walking on us,” said Wentzel. “It wasn’t until 200 meters to go that I let myself think that we were going to win the race. It was a surreal moment and was awesome to cross that finish line together.”
The Bill Kolker Memorial Trophy will also call Stanford its home for the next year. In just the second season of the award, the Cardinal 2V8 captured it for the first time after Cal won the race last year. The 2V8 was the last Stanford boat to beat Cal back in 2011 and used another impressive showing this year for its sixth win overall. The Cardinal recorded a time of 6:41.9, which was 2.7 seconds faster than the Golden Bears.
2V8 with Bill Kolker Memorial Trophy. Photo by Richard C. Ersted/ISIphotos.com.
“While we were doing our warmup, we got tingles watching the four and the 2V8 up on Cal,” said Wentzel. “I am so proud of the depth of our team this year. Across the board we have strong competition for spots in our boats.”
The varsity four notched its first win over Cal in five years to start the momentum for the Cardinal. The Golden Bears started to come back in the final quarter of the race, but Stanford would not be denied and clawed its way to a victory with a time of 7:25.5, 2.8 seconds faster than Cal.
“It was really great to have our last race at the Shores be a win over Cal,” said senior coxswain Katie Lopez. “I felt stunned and almost giddy. I am really proud of everyone and happier than I have been after a race in a while. It was amazing.”
The varsity four has now defeated three different top five opponents this season in No. 3 Virginia, No. 4 USC and No. 2 Cal.
The 2V4 was the first race of the day for the women’s openweight teams. Cal won that race with a time of 7:35.6, while the Cardinal posted a 7:56.1.
Wins at the Big Row are always special due to the rivalry between the two schools and for the eight Stanford seniors competing for the final time at Redwood Shores, the three wins on Saturday made it that much more special.
“We have eight seniors on the squad and they have been fantastic leaders this entire season,” said Farooq. “They made an impact in every race we won today. They make sure their teammates come ready to go every day.”
Both Stanford and Cal wore special uniforms in honor of former Cal coxswain Jill Costello, who lost her battle with cancer. Stanford donned pink tank tops with a ribbon and the Stanford block “S” on the front and Team Jill written along with the schools and date on the back.
The next race for the Cardinal will be in two weeks when they vie for the Pac-12 Championship at Lake Natoma on Sunday, May 18.
81st Big Row
Redwood Shores Lagoon
Redwood Shores, Calif.
May 3, 2014
1. Stanford – 6:26.5
2. Cal – 6:29.5
Second Varsity Eight
1. Stanford – 6:41.9
2. Cal – 6:44.6
1. Stanford – 7:25.5
2. Cal – 7:28.3
Second Varsity Four
1. Cal – 7:35.6
2. Stanford – 7:56.1
1V8: Coxswain Naomi Cornman, Anna Dawson, Lilly Tinapple, Nancy Miles, Daphne Martschenko, Ali Fauci, Katie Toothman, Filippa Karrfelt, Kristy Wentzel
2V8: Coxswain Liza Gurtin, Courtney Carrabino, Kay Rusher, Chierika Ukogu, Christina Bax, Ruth Narode, Valerie Frank, Amanda Lorei, Emily Grundman
1V4: Coxswain Katie Lopez, Ellie Parker, Alix Chrumka, Meredith Fischer, Reilly Hayes
2V4: Coxswain Rachael Stryer, Karen Munyan, Hope Sheils, Cynthia Nelson, Nicole Gilmore