March 29, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford's I Eight opened the season with victories over Virginia and UCLA to highlight the Cardinal effort at the Pac-10 Challenge at Redwood Shores over the weekend.
The Cardinal led the Cavaliers to the 500-meter mark and opened up an open-water margin by halfway. Virginia closed the margin to a boat length by the 1,500-meter mark but was unable to get any closer as Stanford nullified their sprint and crossed the line 3.1 seconds ahead of the Cavalier boat.
In the II Eight, Virginia overtook Stanford in the second 500 and extended the lead to 4.8 seconds by the finish. Virginia led wire-to-wire in the women's four race, winning by 23.2 seconds. Stanford's novice eight battled from behind to overtake the Marin Masters in the sprint, winning by 1.1 seconds.
"We open the season coming out of final exams, so it's an action-packed week gearing up for the first 2K race of the season," said Stanford women's rowing head coach Yasmin Farooq. "We were glad to have Virginia come to Redwood Shores because we can always count on them being fast and know that they will make it a race. Our first varsity embraced the challenge and earned an exciting win. We knew both the second eight and the varsity four could go a lot faster after Saturday's race--and they did on Sunday. I'm really glad we got to race UCLA before seeing them again at the San Diego Crew Classic. They were solid. That is going to be an exciting regatta for all three NCAA events."
On Sunday, Stanford's I Eight led to the 500-meter mark and opened that margin to a 7.3-second win by the end of the race. The Cardinal II Eight also led from start to finish, winning by 10.8 seconds. Stanford's varsity four improved significantly from Sunday and finished just 2.5 seconds behind UCLA. UCLA's novice eight went undefeated on the weekend, and beat the Cardinal by 23.2 seconds.
"We have an incredibly close-knit team this year, and the `Women of Stanford' have made some pretty remarkable progress since this fall," Farooq added. "Some of the most inspirational performances have come from the freshmen, and they are contributing to all four lineups. On top of that, the leadership from our most experienced veterans has been outstanding, and it's awesome that they are showing the youngsters how much you can improve over a four-year career here at Stanford. The commitment to one another is real and I'm looking forward to seeing all four lineups improve even more as the season unfolds."