The fall racing season gives the Cardinal crew much to be excited about. After winning the Head of the American the young squad set the tone for the 2000-01 campaign: Close the gap with the crews that are getting the invites to the NCAAs. The Cardinal posted victories over San Diego State, Sacramento State, UC Davis and California at the fall preview. Margins were narrow so the team is very motivated to improve the margins in the spring. Coach Baker is encouraged by the fall results but adds, " Team building and morale are just as important, if not more so, to develop." To this end the team took a trip to Half Dome in Yosemite, rowed beyond the San Mateo Bridge, spent a week at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in San Diego and took an eight mile journey into the hills surrounding Stanford.
With the spring racing season ahead the team prepares diligently on the water, erg, stadium stairs, and in the weight room. The squad opens its competitive season with our annual race against Santa Clara University. This race gives the team a chance to feel the pressure of a real race situation before they get into the heat of their schedule. This race gives the first-time rowers a low-pressure opener and a chance to get their oars wet. Six days later the Cardinal take to Redwood Shores again for a full-squad race against Sacramento State. The Hornets have proven to be tough competition for the Cardinal and have taken the varsity eight the past two seasons by narrow margins. The squad looks to this race as their first true test to show improvement over past seasons and to validate their victory over the Hornets in the fall.
The San Diego Crew Classic is the next stop on the Stanford schedule and is considered to be the spring rowing classic. The Cardinal varsity eight will compete in the California-Visitors Cup, which includes many of the top programs from all over the nation. The Cardinal aim to prove their dominance over these crews by bringing the California Cup home to the Farm. This event is the largest rowing event on the West Coast and is very well attended by both parents and alumni. After the Classic the Cardinal women resume their dual racing schedule with a race against their cross-bay -rival California. The Bears will be one of six nationally ranked teams that the Cardinal will face this season. The Stanford squad looks to show the Bears that the Cardinal will be a force to be reckoned with.
The Stanford Invitational has become a tradition over the past five years. Hosted by the Cardinal at Redwood Shores, a variety of crews attend each year. This year the Invitation will see Texas, Washington State, Oregon State, San Diego State, UC Davis, Sacramento State, California. The dual-format style of racing enables each crew to race more than one time during the event. The Cardinal pair up against Oregon State on Saturday and then Texas on Sunday. The squad will use the Oregon State race as measure of where they stand in terms of a bid to the NCAA Championships since Beavers have been invited to the NCAAs the past two years. The Cardinal were defeated by OSU last year and look to avenge that loss. Stanford has an undefeated record versus the Texas Longhorns and will compete to keep that streak going. The last stop for the team before the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships will be a road trip to San Pedro to face the Trojans from USC.
The entire season culminates at the Pac-10 Championship at Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif. Seedings for this race will be dictated by the regular season results. As a team the squad looks to improve over last year's performance and ultimately to get an NCAA bid.
Beyond this season the future continues to be very bright with another class of top- level recruits and the construction of the new boathouse facility. Both Coach Fuller and Coach Baker are committed to excellence in rowing at Stanford. The combination of top athletes, committed coaches, and a state-of-the art facility no doubt spell success on the Farm.
As the 21st Century begins, Stanford Men's Crew has established the long term goal of being the team of the Century. With the construction and completion of the Morrison Boathouse, the crews training facilities will be exceptional. There is optimism with the addition of head coach Craig Amerkhanian and frosh coach Jon Allbin. They bring to the crew experience and enthusiasm. The longstanding tradition of Stanford athletics and excellence will be the benchmark that success is measured.
The 2001 roster is walk-on based. All but three oarsmen have two seasons or less of rowing experience. This is unparalleled in the Pac 10 Conference/IRA competition field. The scenario is in place for a resounding statement of purpose and accomplishment by Stanford men's crew. Led by sophomores Chris Jones, Michael Hawkes, Bryant Helvey, Eric Shedlosky, and Stuart Scollay the team is driven to build on last year's results. Juniors Nate Shuett, Justin Virgili, Karl Vance, Mario Luis Ramirez, Simona Chin, Bard Luippold, and Peder Linder will add experience to the squad. Lone senior James Threatt is also being counted on as a strong contributor. The racing schedule is filled with challenges. Defending national champion California (April 14), perennial power Washington (April 7), and nationally ranked Oregon St. (April 21), all scholarship-aided teams are on the conference schedule. Harvard, Yale, Penn, Temple, and Wisconsin(all nationally ranked teams) will bring their best to the San Diego Crew Classic (April 7,8). Princeton, Northeastern, Dartmouth, Cornell, and Brown will join crews from across the nation to compete in the IRA National Championship (May 31-2) in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The Cardinal Varsity Eight is determined to improve on last year's 18th place finish.
The future is bright as recruiting has been aggressive. The mean SAT I score among the top ten recruits is 1470. Stanford crew is continuing its tradition of academic excellence. The 2001 team is ranked among the top GPA's in athletics along with Fencing and Gymnastics. Development has been a standard of men's crew and this year is no different. Team infrastructure has been bolstered with the addition of two fifteen-passenger vans, twenty-four ergometers, and two sets of new sweeps. 2001 projected equipment purchases include four fours and a new racing eight. The Stanford Crew alumni group continues to commit time and resources in ensuring a crew experience for future generations.
Stanford crew is moving, gaining seats with morale and iron will. This is our century.