May 15, 2011
GOLD RIVER, Calif. - The Stanford II Eight captured its second straight Pac-10 gold medal to highlight the Cardinal's second-place team finish at Sunday's Pac-10 Championships at Lake Natoma.
The Cardinal I Eight took the silver medal for the second consecutive year, as its final surge came up just short of catching California. Stanford's final time of 7:02.6 would end up a half-second behind the Golden Bears in the day's main event.
In the team standings, Stanford accumulated 34 points to claim second place. California won the team title with 43.5 points. USC took third with 30.5 points, Washington was fourth with 25.5 points, followed by Washington State (24), UCLA (14.5) and Oregon State (10) in fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.
Stanford will now await word on a bid to the NCAA Championships, set to be held May 27-29 at Lake Natoma.
The top two boats provided a boost for the Cardinal after a slow start to the competition. The II Eight left no doubt in its race, leading off the line and establishing a nearly five-second lead by the halfway point of the 2,000-meter course. The Cardinal crew would gradually extend its advantage the rest of the way, holding off any final charges from California and USC and crossing the line in 6:24.5, almost eight seconds ahead of the Golden Bears.
The I Eight raced ahead in a pack of three with California and USC for the first three-quarters of its race. Less than a second separated the leader, California, from third-place USC at the 1,000-meter mark, with the Cardinal sitting right in between.
California made a push and got its lead to just over two seconds entering the final 500 meters, but the Cardinal answered with a push of its own, cutting into the deficit as the finish loomed. But the Cardinal charge would run out of water, as it finished a half-second out of the gold medal.
Sunday opened with the Novice Eight race, in which the Cardinal boat took sixth with a time of 7:14.1. The Four, up next, finished seventh with a time of 7:33.4.