Stanford rows to a fourth-place showing at NCAA races

The Stanford women's rowing team finished fourth overall and the varsity four boat took second to complete action at the NCAA Championships on Sunday in Indianapolis, Ind.

"Last year we watched the Grand Finals from the side of the course," Cardinal coach Yasmin Farooq said. "To get all three boats back in action for trophies and in contention for a national title in one short year is a testament to the commitment these women made to being a better team. It's been a privilege to coach them and I'm confident they left it all out there today."

The fourth-place finish is the fourth trophy finish for the Cardinal in the past six years.

The Cardinal headed into the final race of the day, the varsity eight Grand Final, in a close race for the national title. Ohio State had the lead with 60 points, Stanford was one behind with 59 points and Cal was third with 58 points.

A slow start put Stanford behind at the beginning. The Cardinal was in sixth place following the first 500 meters, two seconds off the lead. The Cardinal moved up two spots by the halfway mark as the group started to find a rhythm.

However, the other five teams began to gain speed and Stanford slipped back down to sixth with 500 meters to go. That is where they would end up as they crossed in 6:52.927, eight seconds back of first place Ohio State.

With the win Ohio State captured its second straight national championship with 126 points. Cal finished second with 118 points after a third- place finish in the final race. Brown moved into third overall with 116 points after coming in second in the varsity eight and Stanford took fourth place with 110 points.

"We really had a fantastic run this year and I'm glad that our team was able to leave with some well-earned NCAA hardware," Farooq said. "I can't thank our eight seniors enough for their leadership and inspiration this year. We have a lot to be proud of, and I'm very excited for what the underclassmen will bring next year. They gained invaluable experience this year, and I'm looking forward to how that can help us go even faster next year."

Stanford made the podium in the varsity four race, taking second place overall. It was the highest finish for the Stanford varsity four in school history.

"We're all really proud of what the four accomplished today," said Farooq. "They raced an exceptional race against outstanding competition. They've been solid performers all year and today they proved they are among the best in the nation. Their finish speaks to the best depth we've had in the history of this program and it's encouraging as we look ahead to next year."

The key to the Cardinal earning silver was a fast start. With the great jump off the line, Stanford was neck-and-neck with Brown for first place 500 meters into the race.

The Cardinal were able to maintain the pace throughout the race and close it out for a solid time of 7:44.379. They were under two seconds from the winning boat from Cal.

The second varsity eight was also in the Grand Final on Sunday. Much like the four the Cardinal 2V8 got off to a good start.

The competitive took off in the second 500 meters as Stanford fell back to third place. In the back half of the 2k, Ohio State, Princeton and Virginia battled for the top three spots. Stanford fought hard but could not make a move up and finished fourth with a time of 7:04.888.

Stanford, which opened the season ranked No. 13, endured one of the toughest schedules in the nation.

The Cardinal swept the top three races at the Big Row for the first time since 2009, won the Pac-12 Championship for the first time in school history and recorded a trophy finish at the NCAA Championships, with all three boats making the Grand Final.

— Stanford Athletics


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