Men's Varsity Eight Qualifies For IRA Grand Final

June 6, 2008

CHERRY HILL, N.J. - The Stanford Men's Varsity Eight have qualified for the Grand Final at the 2008 IRA Regatta on the Cooper River in New Jersey after finishing second in both their opening heat on Thursday, and in the semi-finals today. The Cardinal will take to the waters for the Grand Final tomorrow at 12:24 p.m. ET and attempt to win the men's program's first national title.

On Thursday, the Cardinal Men's Varsity Eight was part of dominant Pac-10 performance in the first men's varsity eight heat as Pac-10 Champion Washington and eighth-ranked Stanford took the top two spots. The Cardinal tracked the Huskies 3-4 seats back over the 2000m course, and both teams blew past the heat's competition. Washington finished in 5:53.296, Stanford in 5:55.183, and the Ivy League's Columbia came in third with a time of 5:58.429, just over 3 seconds behind the Huskies and Cardinal. Fellow Pac-10 competitor Cal also directly advanced to the semifinal out the third heat, taking the top time in that race with 5:49.225.

The Stanford Freshman Eight also had a successful Thursday, and the results mirrored the Varsity Eight as the Cardinal came in second behind Washington. Stanford's time of 6:01.517 was the fourth fastest on the day out of all the Freshman Eights.

In today's racing, the Stanford Men's Varsity Eight secured their position in Saturday's Grand Final by finishing second in the second of four semifinals, while the Freshman Eight finished fourth in their semifinal with a time of 5:47.720, ending their season. The Cardinal Varsity Eight improved their time by nearly 12 seconds and finished in 5:42.991. The winner of the semifinal, Wisconsin, barely squeaked out the win, crossing in 5:42.237.

'We were pleased with our position coming out of the heat, commented the Director of Men's Rowing, Craig Amerkhanian. 'We had to dig down and choose to race the race of our lives today because the other five teams in our semifinal were great.'

By making the Grand Final, the Stanford Men's Varsity Eight is assured a top-six final ranking. Tomorrow's race against Northeastern, Wisconsin, Washington, California, and Columbia will be a chance for revenge and a chance to make history for the Cardinal, as Stanford came up in second in the Grand Final behind Washington last year, the best finish for the Cardinal in program history.

'It's a privilege to be considered one of the top teams in the country, added Amerkhanian. 'Tomorrow we'll find out who truly is number one.'

Race results from the 2008 IRA Regatta can be found on www.row2k.com.

2008 IRA Regatta
Cherry Hill, N.J.

Men's Varsity Eight Heat #1
(Place, School, Lane, Time)
1 University of Washington 3 05:53.296
2 Stanford University 4 05:55.185
3 Columbia University 2 05:58.429
4 Georgetown University 1 06:01.607
5 Syracuse University 6 06:03.927
6 Dartmouth College 5 06:16.037

Men's Freshman Eight Heat #3
(Place, School, Lane, Time)
1 University of Washington 3 05:56.162
2 Stanford University 4 06:01.517
3 Syracuse University 2 06:08.035
4 Georgetown University 5 06:18.988
5 University of Pennsylvania 1 06:19.890
6 University of Michigan 6 06:27.373

Men's Varsity Eight Semifinal #2
(Place, School, Lane, Time)
1 University of Wisconsin 3 05:42.237
2 Stanford University 5 05:42.991
3 Columbia University 1 05:43.424
4 Brown University 4 05:43.980
5 Princeton University 6 05:44.936
6 Cornell University 2 05:45.122

Men's Freshman Eight Semi-Final #2
(Place, School, Lane, Time)
1 Harvard University 4 05:40.692
2 Brown University 5 05:41.105
3 Yale University 3 05:45.130
4 Stanford University 2 05:47.720
5 Yale University 1 05:51.876
6 Northeastern University 6 05:55.258

Men's Varsity Eight Grand Final Saturday, June 7 12:24 p.m. ET
(School, Lane)
Northeastern University 1
University of California Berkeley 2
University of Wisconsin 3
University of Washington 4
Stanford University 5
Columbia University 6

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