Nov. 2, 2008
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -
Stanford Rowing's trio of teams turned in strong efforts Sunday at the Newport Autumn Rowing Festival, with the women's frosh/novice eight capturing the Frosh/Novice Eight event, the men finishing strong in its first eight-man race, and the lightweights taking third in the Women's Open event, the boat's best-ever finish at the Newport event.
The Cardinal women's victory was truly a team effort, as the boat got off the line fourth, trailing San Diego State, USC and UCLA. But over the five-kilometer course, the Cardinal lineup of coxswain Jenna Levy, Erin Radigan, Molly Wachtel, Marielle Higgins, Anna Rasmussen, Poncie Rutsch, Chris Clark, Molly Bauer, Laura Malkiewich found its stroke and steadily came up on the leaders. Stanford would overcome San Diego State to take the lead, and would stretch it to a 58-second advantage when it crossed the line in a winning time of 16:33.
"It was a solid performance for Stanford's freshman boat," said women's assistant coach Vaclav Kacir. "They put up a nice fight, and it was a good effort for that crew."
In the Men's Open Eight competition, Stanford took part in its first race in an eight-man shell this fall season. The men acquitted themselves well in their first such race, finishing just 5.5 seconds behind California in the event, an encouraging result which satisfied Stanford Director of Rowing and men's head coach Craig Amerkhanian at this early stage of the season.
"This race concluded our first six-week training cycle, and I am very pleased with the progress of our team," Amerkhanian said afterwards. "This strong result against teams that have been training since August reveals much about our potential."
Rounding out the strong efforts in Newport were the Stanford lightweights, who participated in the Women's Open Eight race against a field of open-weight boats. Against that field, the Cardinal lineup of coxswain Jess Weigel, Gretchen Stumhofer, Gen Tuveson, Kristin Goodsell, Maria Petrakis, Anna Garbier, Jenna Wixon-Genack, Olivia Trowers and Katherine Heflin captured a top-three finish, taking third place with a time of 16:06. That time was just 18 seconds behind UCLA's "A" boat, which took first, followed by the UCLA "B" boat.
"It was our best finish ever at NARF," said lightweight head coach Al Acosta. "It was good to see the team improve since the Head of the Charles."
Stanford Rowing completes its Fall season next Sunday, Nov. 9, at the Head of the Lagoon in Foster City.