No. 6 Stanford's Women's Varsity Eight Boat Earns At-Large Bid To NCAA Championships

May 20, 2008

STANFORD, Calif. - The varsity eight boat of the No. 6 Stanford women's rowing team, fresh off of a silver medal-winning performance at last weekend's Pac-10 Championships, earned its second consecutive at-large bid to compete at the NCAA Championships, the NCAA announced Tuesday. The 2008 NCAA Division I Rowing Championships will be held from May 30-June 1 at Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, Calif., and hosted by California.

Stanford's varsity eight boat received one of four at-large bids reserved for eight-women boats from institutions not represented in the team competition. In all, 12 teams were selected to participate in the championships alongside the four at-large boats.

'The varsity eight is fired up to row their hearts out at the NCAA Championships, especially for their teammates,' said Stanford women's rowing head coach Yasmin Farooq. 'We peaked for the Pac-10 Championships and are proud and excited for our varsity eight to have the opportunity to race at the NCAA Championships.'

At the Pac-10 Championships held last weekend on the waters of Lake Natoma, the varsity eight helped the Cardinal women to a second-place team finish, its best since 1992, with a second-place effort in its own race. The women took an early lead over the first 500 meters of its qualifying heat and held over the entire length of the 2,000-meter course to take the win and advance to the afternoon's grand final. There, the Cardinal women battled it out with California, leading by just 0.11 seconds at the halfway mark. Although the Golden Bears would overtake the Cardinal in the final 1,000 meters, Stanford's second-place finish, just 3.90 seconds behind California, left a solid impression that led to its second postseason berth in as many years.

The Stanford varsity eight will be one of five Pac-10 boats participating at the championships, as California, Washington, and Washington State all qualified for the team competition, and USC earned one of the four at-large bids.

In addition to the Pac-10 schools, Stanford has also rowed head-to-head against two of the other participating schools, having defeated Ohio State and fallen to Virginia at the 2008 Pac-10 Challenge presented by Windermere from March 29-30.

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