Crew Competes Well At Seventh-Annual Pac-10 Challege Presented By Windermere

March 29, 2009

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. - All three Stanford rowing squads wrapped up competition at the seventh-annual two-day Pac-10 Challenge Presented By Windermere Real Estate this afternoon in San Francisco Bay. The races, which featured over 600 student-athletes, were dominated by the Cardinal, as both the varsity men and women swept all the races they participated in.

On the women's side, the varsity eight, which is ranked third nationally, went 3-0, defeating No. 13 Clemson, No. 12 Ohio State, and No. 6 Virginia. Stanford defeated the Tigers in its first race by seven seconds, 6:27.6 to 6:34.6 in calm conditions. Later in the afternoon, the Cardinal battled with the Buckeyes in the second 500, but broke free after the fabled Redwood Shores double-arched bridge at the 1000m mark, winning 6:56.8 to 7:04.3. In its final race, the women's varsity eight fell behind Virginia early as the Cavaliers had a fast start, but Stanford countered early and overtook Virginia in the second 500, opening the lead to over 3 boatlengths by the end (6:38.9 to 6:49.2).

The women's varsity eight boat was propelled to three victories by Adrienne Fritsch, Lauren Hofmayer, Jenna Levy, Elle Logan, Grace Luczak, Lindsay Meyer, Erika Roddy, Julie Smith, and Michelle Vezie.

The men's varsity eight also went undefeated at 4-0, besting Northeastern, UCLA, USC, and UC Davis. The Cardinal beat Northeastern handily by 5.5 seconds, and cruised by UCLA (5:56.1 to 6:22.5), USC (by 36.1 seconds) and UC Davis (5:54.5 to 6:12.8).

The second men's varsity eight was also impressive, beating Gonzaga 5:58.1 to 6:18.4 and UC Davis by 23.4 seconds.

The second women's varsity eight went 1-2. In the boat's first race, Stanford led the Tigers from the start and won by open water, 6:35.4 to 6:39.1. In its second race on Saturday against Ohio State, the Buckeyes attacked Stanford before the bridge, gaining an open water lead and won by 12.4 seconds. On Sunday against Virginia, the Cavaliers got the jump on the Cardinal out of the blocks, but Stanford battled back before the 1000 meter mark. Virginia then pushed out to a boatlength lead, only to have the Cardinal reel them back in front of the boisterous crowd at Paragon Point. The Cardinal closed the gap to 2/3 of a boatlength at the finish, but failed to take the lead, falling by 2.2 seconds.

In women's varsity four action, Stanford went 2-1, only dropping its first race. The Cardinal led Clemson off the line but then was overtaken early. The Tigers turned in a 7:32.7 while Stanford posted a 7:45.5. In one of the most exciting races of the day, the Cardinal women's four led off the line, but was caught by Ohio State in the notorious 'Black Diamond'--Redwood Shores' mentally anguishing 3rd 500 meter stretch. In a strong crosswind, coxswain Tiffany Dao's laser straight course helped Stanford nose ahead, and set up a blistering sprint that sealed the win by 2.7 seconds. In the boat's final race, the Cardinal matched Virginia's strong start, and steadily pulled ahead to win by over three boat lengths.

The men's freshmen eight went 3-1, only falling to Orange Coast College in the first race for the boat. The Pirates narrowly edged the Cardinal 6:01.7 to 6:03.6. Stanford rebounded to sprint past USC by 32.3 seconds and defeat Gonzaga by 3.7 seconds. The Cardinal then finished out its display of dominance over the Aggies in all men's classes, posting a 6:11.5 in comparison to UC Davis' 6:40.8.

The women's novice eight gained valuable experience on the weekend as well with a 1-2 record, finishing five seconds behind Clemson after leading the race for 1500m, defeating Saint Mary's second varsity eight by open water, and trailing Virginia over the course.

Contributing to the efforts of the second varsity eight, varsity four and novice eight was Kathy Altman, Sophie Aubrey, Molly Bauer, Susan Bryukhanov, Tiffany Dao, Di Eaton, Elise Guinee-Cooper, Sarah Kaewert, Cassie Kull, Mariel Lanas, Laura Malkiewich, Maura Moran, Marielle Higgins, Katie O'Neil, Erin Radigan, Anna Rasmussen, Jenna Rist, Poncie Rutsch, Madison Stanford, Kristen Stublarec, Julia Thompson, and Carly Villareal.

The lightweight women's crew also competed in three races this weekend, defeating California but falling to Wisconsin and Princeton. The Stanford women were faster than the Golden Bears by 7.1 seconds, and only fell to the Badgers by 4.0 and the Tigers by 1.8 seconds.

'For the most part we rowed solid races against three worthy opponents,' said women's head coach Yaz Farooq. 'I'm really encouraged with the progress the team made from race to race. We're on a mission to put Stanford on the map in all three NCAA boat classes.'

'This was a great event for the Bay Area,' added men's head coach Craig Amerkhanian. 'The competition was fierce, the sportsmanship was rich, and days were perfect.'

The women will be back in action in mid-April at the Lake Natoma Invitational, while the men's crew and lightweight women will compete next weekend in the San Diego Crew Classic on Mission Bay.

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