The Stanford men's rowing varsity four won its heat to advance to the A/B semifinals on the first day of the IRA National Championships on Lake Mercer in New Jersey on Friday.
"We brought our 12 best rowers out here to see what we can do," Stanford coach Craig Amerkhanian said. "We are looking forward to more racing tomorrow and to finishing the regatta strong over the next two days."
The four has only been rowing together for about a week after the Cardinal has not raced in fours all season long. Stanford got off to a slow start, which was something they were prepared for.
"We haven't spent too much time together but one of Nathalie's (Weiss) first calls was 'we are down at the start but we are not going to change anything' and then we started walking," said junior Landon Alecxih.
Once the Cardinal started to move on the other boats it wasn't long before they had the lead. By the midway point of the race they were in front of the pack.
In the second half of the race, they continued the fight and crossed the finish line over four seconds in front of second place Yale.
The varsity four advanced to the A/B semifinal where they will race at 12:12 p.m.
"This group has really come together and meshed in the last week," said Alecxih. "It is my first experience at a big regatta and it was definitely big to advance straight to the semifinals."
The varsity eight had No. 3 Yale and No. 6 Brown in its heat, as well as No. 11 Penn. Ranked 14th coming in, Stanford was looking to upset these squads.
The teams were even off the start with Yale gaining a slight advantage. By the 500 meter mark the Cardinal was in fourth place by a few seats. The top three teams started to create some distance by the halfway point, lengthening out to an open water advantage over the other three teams.
Stanford was battling with Syracuse for fourth place through the third 500 meters, but began to pull away from them and gain ground on Penn in third place. A big sprint closed the gap on Penn, but in the end the Cardinal came in three seconds back for fourth.
Yale won the heat with a time of 5:52.244. Brown was two seconds back in second, Penn 12 seconds back in third and Stanford clocked a 6:07.391 to finish ahead of George Washington and Syracuse.
The fourth place finish put Stanford in the repechage and gave them a second race in the afternoon.
In the reps, Stanford fell just short of the top spot to place them in the C/D semifinal on Saturday. Cornell took the race with a time of 5:48.174 and Stanford clocked a 5:52.998.
Stanford's Kayla Bonstrom was named a Capital One Academic All-America Division I Softball second team selection, as announced Friday by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
It is the first Academic All-America honor of Bonstrom's career. She is the fourth Cardinal player to receive the award in program history, joining Alissa Haber (2010), Missy Penna (2009) and Sarah Beeson (2002).
Bonstrom had a terrific year in the classroom to match her All-American play on the field. Boasting a 3.60 GPA as an international relations major, she was recently selected to the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) Interschool Honors Program in International Security Studies to develop a senior thesis with the federal government related to national security. She's interested in working in national security upon graduation.
The academic accolade adds to an already impressive list of accomplishments accumulated by the junior this season. Bonstrom was named an NFCA Second Team All-American, NFCA All-West Region first team, All-Pac-12 first team and a Pac-12 All-Defensive Team honorable mention.