May 29, 2011
NCAA Rowing Championships Central
GOLD RIVER, Calif. - Stanford women's rowing finished second in the team standings of the NCAA Championships Sunday. Despite matching Brown University atop the leaderboard with 85 points at the end of the three races, Brown was awarded the team title due to a higher finish in the I Eight championship final.
Stanford's I Eight finished third in its final, five-hundredths of a second behind second-place Brown.
The II Eight captured the NCAA gold medal, its first ever, with a two and a half second victory in its championship final. The Cardinal Four took sixth in the first championship final of the day.
"It was an incredible team effort to get all three boats in the final, and we knew that Sunday would be a showdown," said Stanford women's rowing coach Yasmin Farooq. "The four was our underdog boat that worked very hard to get in the final. That in and of itself was immensely helpful in our finish today. The 2V win was three years in the making, and they were hungry to earn Stanford's first NCAA title in that event. They blasted out of the blocks and never looked back. That boat overcame a good deal of adversity this season and it was awesome to see them end it as national champions."
"Everything indicated that the varsity eight race was destined to be a barnburner, and the fact that five-hundredths of a second decided the team title today is a classic NCAA Championship ending," Farooq continued. "Every year there are photo finishes. In the 2009 final we were fortunate to be on the right side of the photo. Today it was Brown, and they earned it. I'm so very proud of our team for how they battled through this season and for their performances throughout the championship. They are outstanding teammates and it's truly been my pleasure to coach them."
In the day's finale, the I Eight championship final, Stanford found itself in sixth position after the opening 500 meters, despite being just a second and a half off of Princeton's pace.
The Cardinal moved its way up the pack, getting into fourth position at the halfway mark, and remaining there heading into the final 500 meters, again just a second and a half off of Princeton's pace and just over a half-second behind Brown.
California, which led the team standings with 44 points heading into the I Eight final, faded in the final 500 meters, dropping from second to fourth, while Stanford and Brown slugged it out with Princeton in the top three. While Princeton would hold on to capture the I Eight gold, Stanford's final charge to overtake Brown fell just short, as the Bears crossed the line in second with a time of 6:28.62, just five-hundredths of a second ahead of the Cardinal, to win the tiebreaker and capture the golden trophy.
Stanford's II Eight, after being nipped at the line and settling for silver at last year's event, made sure there would not be a repeat in 2011, using a final surge over the last quarter of the race to out-distance Brown and capture gold. The Cardinal jumped out to a three-second lead after the opening 500 meters, but had its advantage cut to just under a second by Brown at the 1,000-meter mark.
The boat would add nearly a half-second to its lead heading into the final 500 meters, and there the Cardinal made its big push. Brown, racing in second, could not match the effort and Stanford's II Eight won its first-ever NCAA title with a gold medal-winning time of 6:26.76, over two and a half seconds ahead of Brown.
The Cardinal Four took part in the first championship final of the day. The boat opened the race in fourth position, and maintained that spot through the halfway mark. At the three-quarters mark, Washington had pushed into fourth as the Cardinal dropped to fifth, and over the final 500 meters Stanford dropped to the back of the pack, finishing sixth overall with a time of 7:18.08.
Stanford's Boat Lineups For The NCAA Championships