Stanford Varsity Eight Earns Spot In Grand Final At NCAA Rowing Championships
May 31, 2008
GOLD RIVER, Calif. - Stanford's women's varsity eight boat continued its run at the NCAA Rowing Championships Saturday, taking third in the day's first semifinal to advance to Sunday's Grand Final and a shot at the varsity eight national title for the first time since finishing third nationally in 2003. The Cardinal caught Harvard over the final half of the race to take over the third spot with a race time of 6:39.93, making the Grand Final cut with a top-three finish.
'It's been a tough but incredible year for this team,' said head coach Yasmin Farooq. 'I'm proud of the entire squad for overcoming illness and injury to finish second in the PAC-10 Championships. Now for the eight to advance to the NCAA final is truly another sign of the progress that our small, tough team is making.'
'This eight is a scrappy bunch and they're up for anything--and the competition in the NCAA final is as good as it gets. I know they'll make the most of it,' Farooq added.
The Grand Final is set to get underway at 11:30 a.m. Sunday morning at Lake Natoma. The lineup for Sunday's Grand Final, along with Stanford, consists of semifinal heat winners Yale and Brown, as well as California, Washington, and Michigan State.
The day's opening semifinal, getting underway at 8:01 a.m., featured an evenly split lineup of Pac-10 and Ivy League crews as California, Washington State, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton rounded out the lineup with the Cardinal.
Stanford began the race in fourth position at the 500-meter mark, trailing Yale, California, and Harvard, but only being 2.31 seconds back of the race-leading Bulldogs, and 0.38 seconds behind the Crimson, which held the all-important final qualifying slot.
At the midway point, the order remained intact, but the Cardinal had shaved precious hundredths of a second off of the already razor-thin Harvard lead, now nearly neck-and-neck with the Crimson. Over the next 500 meters, the Cardinal made its push, overtaking the Crimson boat and pulling ahead by 1.85 seconds. Stanford would continue its strong rowing over the final quarter of the race, securing its spot in the Grand Final by a 2.65-second margin over fourth-place Harvard.
The Cardinal's strong finish was evident in its finish just behind second-place California, which edged the Stanford boat by just 1.27 seconds. Yale won the semifinal by 4.77 seconds.
Stanford Varsity Eight Lineup