GOLD RIVER, Calif. – Just about everything ended the way the No. 7 Stanford women’s rowing team would have wanted it to on Sunday.
“We've been racing top notch competition for three weeks now, and this was another great look into what the NCAA field will be like,” said head coach Yasmin Farooq. “I am so proud of the effort by each of our boats. The mindset to learn and improve with each race made the weekend extremely valuable."
It was the final day of the Lake Natoma Invitational and Stanford was looking to sustain the momentum gained from great racing on Saturday. They would have to do so against No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 20 University of San Diego.
The Cardinal did just that as they swept the three races to finish third in the team standings behind No. 1 Cal and No. 6 Brown. The race that closed out the Sunday sweep for Stanford was the varsity eight. It was a solid race from start to finish for the Cardinal as they crossed the finish line in 6:24.7, five seconds faster than Notre Dame and 15 seconds ahead of USD.
The first race of the day was the varsity four race. Right from the start, the Cardinal jumped out to a lead. As the race went on Notre Dame tried to fight its way back. However, the Cardinal had built a big lead in the first 1,500 meters and would hold off the Fighting Irish for a victory. Stanford (7:23.0) finished 2.2 seconds ahead of Notre Dame for its fifth win in seven races this spring.
“We were pretty pumped this morning to race and see if we could find our rhythm again,” said sophomore Ellie Parker. “We came off the start in the lead which hasn’t happened to us yet. We knew it was going to be a tough race and were prepared to fight in the back half. Notre Dame made a move, but we held it together and executed in the sprint.”
The second varsity eight earned its fourth victory over a ranked team and did so in impressive fashion. Stanford shot out of the gate to gain the lead in the first 250 meters and by the 500-meter mark had already extended it to an open water advantage. The Cardinal never let up and cruised to a near nine-second victory over the Fighting Irish. Stanford posted a time of 6:34.2.
“It was really exciting that we carried over the success from yesterday afternoon,” said junior Amanda Lorei. “We made a lot of progress in the way we race. I think we learned a lot from facing stiff competition. We have a mature boat and that showed in how we handled tough racing situations.”
Everything seemed to end just the way the Cardinal wanted it to. At the end of the day, head coach Yasmin Farooq got a nice surprise from the team as they gave her three cakes with the words “Hall of Fame” written on them. It was announced Friday that Farooq will be inducted into the National Rowing Foundation Hall of Fame next month.
Stanford will have a weekend off from racing before hosting USC in a dual meet on Saturday, April 26 at Redwood Shores.
Lake Natoma Invitational
Gold River, Calif.
April 13, 2014
1. Stanford – 7:23.0
2. Notre Dame – 7:25.2
3. USD – 7:37.9
Second Varsity Eight
1. Stanford – 6:34.2
2. Notre Dame – 6:43.0
3. USD – 6:57.5
1. Stanford – 6:24.7
2. Notre Dame – 6:29.8
3. USD – 6:39.5