REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. – The No. 13 Stanford men’s rowing team competed at its home course for the first time this season on Friday night, coming away with three wins over the University of California, San Diego on the first day of the Stanford Invitational.
The first evening racing for any of the current Stanford rowers, Friday marked a unique experience. Instead of waking up early and getting ready to row, the Cardinal student-athletes spent the day attending classes before heading to the race course.
“We had guys in computer science, mechanical engineering, art history classes, which was a different experience for our guys before racing,” said head coach Craig Amerkhanian. “The evening racing is a good thing, but you could tell it took a toll on the guys after they spent all day taking care of business in the classroom.”
The Stanford rowers do practice twice a week in the late afternoon at Redwood Shores, but the conditions on Friday were more difficult than usual as headwinds were at times over 20 mph. The wind made the water choppy and made it more difficult to row.
“The headwind definitely felt heavy, but we are a young crew and managed the race pretty well,” said freshman Ryan O’Rourke. “The harder part was staying focused in class all day and then having to switch gears into rowing mode quickly in the short time we had between class and the start of the races.”
The varsity eight was the first of the three races. The Cardinal boat won handily, beating UCSD by over 20 seconds. Stanford posted a time of 6:23.7 compared to a 6:44.1 by the Tritons. It was the second straight win for the Stanford 1V8.
The second varsity eight won by a similar margin. Stanford crossed the finish line in 6:44.5, while UCSD followed over 20 seconds behind with a 7:05.2.
The frosh eight made it an evening sweep for the Cardinal in what turned out to be a closer race than the first two. Although closer, Stanford still had a good advantage at the finish line. The Cardinal posted a time of 6:33.9, 3.5 seconds faster than the Tritons.
“We started out a little slower than we wanted,” said O’Rourke. “We were able to make a move 750 meters in and get out a length. We were able to keep it going from there.”
The Stanford Invitational will continue with two sessions of racing on Saturday. The morning session will begin at 9 a.m. and the afternoon session at 2 p.m. The Cardinal will be taking on No. 12 Wisconsin in the morning and the University of San Diego in the afternoon.
Redwood Shores Lagoon
Redwood Shores, Calif.
April 18, 2014
1. Stanford – 6:23.7
2. UCSD – 6:44.1
Second Varsity Eight
1. Stanford – 6:44.5
2. UCSD – 7:05.2
1. Stanford – 6:33.9
2. UCSD – 6:37.4