July 16, 2012
TRAKAI, Lithuania - Stanford Women's Rowing wrapped up competition at the World Rowing Under-23 Championships this weekend, as Daphne Martschenko finished sixth with the U.S. women's four and Cardinal head coach Yasmin Farooq guided the U.S. eight to a gold medal.
Competing in the women's four A final and for a gold medal Saturday, Martschenko and the U.S. crew opened the race fifth out of the six entrants.
The U.S. boat fell into sixth by the halfway point of the 2,000-meter course and could not escape its hole, finishing in a time of 7:34.13. Canada would capture the gold medal followed by Australia and Russia on the medal stand.
"Daphne and her teammates did an outstanding job earning a spot in the grand final and the experience she gained rowing on the international stage was invaluable, especially given that she is only two years into her collegiate career," Farooq said of Martschneko. "The team will really benefit from her journey this summer, and I know that she is already a better oarswoman as a result."
Farooq, meanwhile, was on the U.S. coaching staff in Lithuania, working with the U.S. eight. She was called in at the last minute to serve in place of Syracuse head coach Justin Moore, who remained in the U.S. with his daughter, MacKenzie, who was undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
The eight went wire-to-wire in Sunday's A final, winning by open water in a time of 6:25.92, nearly four-and-a-half seconds ahead of runner-up Germany.
"I was flattered to be asked to help Justin with the U.S. selection camp this year, and in the end, it was a true honor to be the finishing coach for the eight," Farooq said. "All of the women in the camp were fantastic, and the speed of that boat was driven by the intense competition that their teammates provided during the selection process. That said, the boat was selected very close to the Championships so there was a lot of work to do to get the lineup clicking and up to speed. What these nine women did from selection to race day to build speed in that boat was truly impressive. They were committed and invested in every single practice. They put all of the pieces together in the final and had the race of a lifetime. It was a courageous effort and I'm so glad it paid off for them. Their faces during the medals ceremony while the Star Spangled Banner played said it all.
"We were also given an enormous gift from Justin's daughter Mackenzie, who inspired us with her courage as she battled through chemo, blood transfusions and an infection that ultimately kept Justin from traveling to Lithuania," Farooq continued. "She and Justin watched the race together from the States, and the team was truly on a mission to get our "MM " bowball across the line first. The attack at the 1,000-meter mark was dedicated to giving back to her."