Stanford Women Edged By A Half-Point At Pac-10 Championships
May 16, 2010
GOLD RIVER, Calif. - Sunday's Pac-10 Championships turned into an agonizing day of 'close but not quite' for the Stanford women, as the Cardinal were edged out of the team and I Eight titles by razor-thin margins. But the II Eight was able to buck the trend by capturing its first-ever Pac-10 gold on the waters of Lake Natoma.
Stanford finished second in the team standings with 39 points, just a half-point behind conference champions California. The race for the title was decided in the competition's final race between the I Eights, which the Golden Bears won by nine-tenths of a second over the Cardinal.
Stanford, the defending NCAA Champion, will now await word on its postseason fate, which will be determined Tuesday, May 18 at 2 p.m. PT on the NCAA.com Division I Rowing Selection Show. Last year the Cardinal earned an at-large berth to the championships and will hope for the same for this year's championship.
The selection show can be seen live on www.ncaa.com Tuesday, May 18 at 2 p.m. PT.
'This was a good day of progress for this team--actually our best Pac-10 'team' performance yet,' said women's head coach Yasmin Farooq. 'The Novice eight rowed with their hearts and set the tone for the day. The second varsity rowed with maturity and inspiration, knowing that the field would be fast. They controlled the race and rose to the occasion against a very worthy field. We all knew it would come down to the varsity eight, and I'm glad to see that the work that they've put into this boat is starting to pay off. That was an excellent race across the board, and the Pac-10's should be well-represented here in two weeks at the NCAA's.'
The Cardinal II Eight, though, left no drama to its finish, capturing its first-ever Pac-10 gold with a 4.1-second (just over a boatlength) victory over runner-up Washington.
'I am very proud of the commitment that every single person on our team showed today,' said Stanford co-captain and II Eight bow seat Alex Hasbach. 'The novice eight set the bar high with an inspiring race, and all of us watching were determined to follow suit. It's a thrill to be a part of the first Stanford second varsity eight to win the Pac-10 title, and I feel incredibly grateful to all of my supportive and tenacious teammates.'
The Novice Eight turned in a key second-place effort Sunday while the Varsity Four rounded things out with a fourth-place finish.
The Novice Eight's runner-up finish gave the Cardinal three points, putting Stanford in second place behind novice victor Washington. In the race, Stanford finished in a time of 6:58.0, which was 4.3 seconds back of the Huskies and 3.4 seconds ahead of third-place California.
Stanford fell into third place in the team standings following the next class, the Fours, as a fourth-place finish only captured four points. This left the Cardinal, which finished in a time of 7:38.8, in third place behind Washington and California in the team totals.
The II Eight would catapult the Cardinal back into second place and into position for the team title as the boat raced out to the gold medal with a finishing time of 6:44.8. The Cardinal took the lead by the 500-meter mark, upping its advantage to about a boatlength by the halfway point. The lead would slowly increase by the final 500 meters, and at the line would end up 4.1 seconds ahead of runner-up Washington and just under six seconds faster than third-place California. In the team standings, the 14 points awarded for the win brought the Cardinal's tally up to 21 points, just a point and a half behind Washington and 2.5 points ahead of California heading into the deciding I Eight Grand Final.
With all eyes on the championship-deciding race, Stanford opened up in third after the opening 500 meters. By the 1,500-meter mark the Golden Bears had extended its lead to almost a boatlength ahead of the Cardinal, but Stanford made its final push in the last 500 meters, shaving seconds off of its deficit. But the valiant effort fell just short as the Cardinal came in just nine-tenths of a second behind the Golden Bears with a final time of 6:30.8.
Pac-10 Championship Final Team Standings (Points)
California - 39.5
Stanford - 39
Washington - 31.5
USC - 24.5
UCLA - 22
Washington State - 17.5
Oregon State - 8
Stanford Pac-10 Championships Lineups: