April 22, 2012
In a battle of the nation's top two lightweight eight crews, No. 1 Stanford and No. 2 Wisconsin split a pair of races Saturday and Sunday in Boston.
The Cardinal Lightweights return to action next Saturday at the WIRA Championships in Gold River, Calif.
Racing into strong head winds on Saturday the Stanford I Eight came up just short of Wisconsin. The Cardinal fell back a length to Wisconsin in the second 500 meters, then edged slightly into the lead for a few strokes late in the 3rd 500 Stanford.
However, Wisconsin came back over the final quarter of the race, finishing in a time of 7:24.9, eight-tenths of a second ahead of the Cardinal crew, 12 seconds ahead of Harvard and 45 seconds ahead of Buffalo.
In the II Eight lightweight race, Harvard led all crews from the second 500 to the end. Stanford remained in third for the duration of the race, finishing behind Wisconsin but ahead of MIT.
Sunday brought about much faster conditions for racing, and the Cardinal I Eight led the Badgers from the start and steadily moved out to the finish line. Stanford would claim the race with a time of 6:35.4, nearly a full second ahead of Wisconsin.
The II Eight had one of the most exciting races of the day as they fell behind early by about three-quarters of a length. They then started to chip away at the Wisconsin lead during the middle 1,000 and moved in front with about 600 meters to go. From there, the Cardinal finished 1.4 seconds ahead of Wisconsin with a time of 6:57.8.
"This was a really important trip for our team," said Stanford Lightweight Rowing head coach Al Acosta. "We made some mistakes on Saturday while Harvard and Wisconsin had some impressive performances. I was happy to see both Stanford boats row better and more aggressively on Sunday."
Wisconsin - 7:24.9
Stanford - 7:25.7
Harvard-Radcliffe - 7:36.4
University at Buffalo - 8:09.8
Harvard-Radcliffe - 7:33.4
Wisconsin - 7:37.6
Stanford - 7:42.1
MIT - 8:12.0
Stanford - 6:35.4
Wisconsin - 6:40.3
Stanford - 6:57.8
Wisconsin - 6:59.2