June 4, 2011
CHERRY HILL, N.J. - The Stanford Lightweight I Eight made it back-to-back IRA national titles Saturday at the IRA Championships, capturing the crown by outlasting No. 1 Princeton by less than a second in an exciting Grand Final.
It is the second straight national title for the I Eight, guided by head coach Al Acosta. And for the second straight year, the Cardinal overcame the nation's No. 1 boat in the Grand Final, having defeated Wisconsin in 2010.
The Lightweight Four turned in a runner-up effort in its Grand Final, behind Wisconsin.
In the I Eight championship, it quickly became a two-boat race as Stanford and Princeton battled it out. As the race closed in on the finish line, the Cardinal and Tigers had far out-distanced crews from Wisconsin, Radcliffe, Bucknell and Georgetown, and it came down to the boat with the strongest final push.
It would be Stanford in the end that grabbed the proverbial brass ring, crossing the line with a time of 6:32.392, edging out Princeton by 0.681 of a second.
In the Four Grand Final, Wisconsin asserted itself and pulled away from the field and into open water, finishing with a time of 7:26.319. Battling for second place, Stanford was able to hold off crews from Radcliffe and Loyola (MD) to claim the silver medal.
The Cardinal's final time would be 7:38.425, over two seconds ahead of Radcliffe and four seconds better than Loyola (MD).