NCAA Rowing Championships Results
GOLD RIVER, Calif. - The Stanford women's crew Varsity Eight just missed out on capturing its first national championship today in the Grand Final of the 2008 NCAA Rowing Championships at Lake Natoma in central California, crossing the finish line a mere nine-tenths of a second behind champion Yale. The Cardinal's second-place finish bests its previous top finish, a third-place effort in 2003.
"It was a tremendous and gutsy effort," said Stanford Head Coach Yasmin Farooq. "They risked everything, led the race, and went for the win. They stepped up to the challenge on the biggest stage in this country. I am honored to coach this team."
Stanford led the pack from the start, holding a lead over Yale that varied between three and four-tenths of a second over the first 1,000 meters of the race. Brown, another pre-race favorite along with Yale, took over second place over the race's third 500, just 0.32 seconds behind the Cardinal, but Stanford continued its all-out effort and kept the Bears from taking a lead.
By the final 500 meters, the Cardinal a marginal lead over the Bears and Bulldogs, and heading into the final few hundred meters Yale began to push. The Bulldogs would just capture the title as they nosed ahead of the Cardinal just before the finish in a time of 6:34.05. Stanford's final time of 6:34.95 was three-tenths of a second better than Brown, and 1.26 seconds faster than Pac-10 rival California.
"I couldn't be more proud of our team today, we raced a fearless race that validated the work we had put in all year," said senior captain and coxswain Jen Brown.
"It's not often in this life that you have the chance to give everything you've got to the people that you love," added senior Jessi Reel. "Today, we all decided together to go for it, and we did--for each other, for our amazing coaches, and for our teammates who deserved to be here."
"We knew it was anyone's race to win today, and we knew it would take our greatest race be in the fight for first," said senior Steph Morrison. "I'm so proud to be part of a team that has the courage to rise to challenges like today's, and I'm grateful for our coaches whose precise and purposeful training put us in position to be able to excel today.
California, Washington, and Michigan State rounded out the rest of the teams participating in the Grand Finale, with times of 6:36.21, 6:38.25, and 6:40.26, respectively.
Brown successfully defended its team title, winning the team championship with 67 points by finishing third in the V8+ Grand Final.
Stanford Varsity Eight Lineup
Jen Brown (COX)