March 19, 2004
Stanford, CA - Coming off an unprecedented PAC-10 Championship season, the Stanford oarswomen are in the position of defending their conference title for the first time in program history while striving to improve on last year's 9th place team finish at the NCAA championships. A full racing season includes visits from 7th ranked Virginia and 8th ranked Michigan State early in the schedule. In addition, this year's PAC-10 conference boasts four additional teams besides the Cardinal ranked in the top 20 in Coaches' Preseason polling. Four-year varsity coxswain Wendy Hoeveler, a 2003 1st team PAC-10 and 2nd team All-American, commented, " A lot of teams are stepping it up, as we saw during racing in the fall." Hoeveler adds, "I don't think there's anyone we can count out."
The Cardinal returns five members from its Varsity Eight lineup, which finished 3rd during the NCAA championship. In addition to Hoeveler, the top eight will see seniors Melissa Haury (2nd team All-West) and Ashley Maloney and juniors Missy Fiesler (1st team PAC-10) and Marlo Dreissigacker back to drive another season. Added strength and experience to the team will come from seniors Molly Loeb and Jenny McColloch who are determined to make a bid for a National Championship during their last year at the Farm. While the seniors and the other returning athletes bring depth to the team, it is the four newcomers who add a spark to this already vibrant squad. Junior rowing standouts Carly York, Canadian Stephanie Connolly, Liz Harrison, and Stephanie Potter all have experience on competitive waters despite being freshman. York and Connolly are two-time junior national team members who competed at the Junior World Championships in both 2002 and 2003.
At the helm of this squad is 2003 PAC-10 Coach of the Year Aimee Baker in her 910h year with the Cardinal. Baker's decade worth of experience on the Farm has helped build a strong and mature rowing program that has developed the Cardinal into a solid competitive threat on the water. Assisting Baker is Carrie Davis in her third year with Stanford. Both Baker and Davis are geared up for a tough yet exciting spring season.
The Stanford oarswomen kick-off their schedule this weekend against the University of British Columbia. Following a week of spring break training, the entire Stanford rowing program will help host the 2nd annual Windermere Collegiate Crew Classic on their home race course. The women will have a weekend full of dual racing against Virginia, Michigan State, and Cornell. The Cardinal will head down to San Diego for the 37th annual Crew Classic regatta. Here they will face teams from around the nation. The Cardinal will round out April and the beginning of May with visits from PAC-10 competitors including California and USC. This dual racing will help prepare the Stanford women for the PAC-10 Championships in mid-May where the Cardinal will aim to not only defend their title, but also earn their 3rd straight NCAA team bid.