Highlighted by a third-place finish in the Varsity Eight Grand Final, Stanford placed fourth at the NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships Sunday at Lake Natoma in Gold River.
The Cardinal varsity eight finished third in its race, while the varsity four took fourth and the second varsity eight placed ninth overall. Stanford totaled 107 points to place fourth as a team, a point ahead of Washington (107). California (129) won the NCAA team title, while Ohio State (126) placed second and Virginia (112) finished third.
"It's always a battle to get on the podium here at the NCAA's," Stanford coach Yasmin Farooq said. "It was great to get two boats in the Grand Final. That put us in the hunt for the podium today. We knew we would need great performances from each of our boats today and we got them. I am so proud of this team."
In the highly-anticipated varsity eight Grand Final, Stanford raced out of lane one and took the early lead on the six-boat field. The Cardinal held the lead by a deck length over California at the 750-meter mark.
Stanford, California and Ohio State were level as the boats approached the midpoint of the course. The Buckeyes surged their bow in front and the Golden Bears settled into second with a three-seat advantage on the Cardinal as they crossed 1,000 meters. Stanford tried to take seats back from California, while it built a six-seat advantage over fourth-place Brown, with 750 meters to go.
The top boats each sprinted towards the finish line to decide the NCAA Champion. Ohio State (6:19.035) won the race, while Stanford finished three seats back of California (6:21.111) to place third. The Cardinal (6:22.167) edged Brown (6:22.186) by .019 for a podium finish.
"We knew we would have to attack from the very first stroke in the varsity eight," Farooq said. "We knew it would come down to the very end. I am so proud of them for attacking all 2,000 meters. It came down to a photo finish for third and we were on the right side of that. That got our entire team on the podium."
Stanford's varsity four opened its Grand Final in fourth place through the first 500 meters. The Cardinal began to take away water from third-place Virginia.
What was once an open-water advantage, was reduced to a bow-to-stern edge for the Cavaliers with 750 meters to go. Stanford (7:14.757) could not get any closer to UVA (7:12.071), finishing fourth by a deck length over Ohio State (7:15.086). California (7:08.410) won the title, while Washington (7:09.203) finished second.
In the second varsity eight Petite Final, Stanford opened in fourth. The Cardinal made an early move to pull level with Wisconsin for third by 750 meters.
Stanford set its sights on the top two boats, Brown and Yale. The Cardinal got within four seats of second-place Yale with 500 meters to go.
Stanford (6:39.821) finished the Petite Final in third, placing ninth overall in the second varsity eight competition. Brown (6:35.550) and Yale (6:37.008) finished 1-2, respectively, in the Petite Final.
Sunday's races concluded the three-day national regatta, closing the 2016 season for the Cardinal.
"The senior class was just an incredible driving force behind this team," Farooq said. "They worked so hard and set a great example for everyone. Seeing how hard these seniors work on a daily basis was truly special. We are going to miss them a lot. They have left an incredible legacy."
Stanford saw its season come to a close Sunday with a 28th-place finish at the NCAA championships in Eugene.
Stanford (292-294-298) was 18-over on the day and 44-over through 54 holes at the par-70 Eugene Country Club.
"It's a team game, and we weren't firing on all cylinders," said Conrad Ray, Stanford's Director of Men's Golf. "We'll have to go back and see why that was, and hopefully it will make us better in the future. It's disappointing, considering that our guys are motivated to win and motivated to have high expectations.
"I'm proud of our team. We put in a lot of hard work and preparation throughout the season. Sometimes it's the way the game goes. Sometimes you do all you can do and it doesn't go your way. It's not losing, it's learning."
The 2015-16 campaign for the Cardinal featured three team wins, including a third straight Pac-12 Conference title.
Ending his Stanford career was senior David Boote, who led the squad with a 50th-place showing at 6-over. Boote (69-73-74) closed his final back nine at 1-over.
Franklin Huang (75-75-72, +12), Maverick McNealy (76-71-76, +13), Brandon Wu (73-75-76, +14) and Jeffrey Swegle (75-76-76, +19) each finished outside of the top 100.
McNealy matched Boote's 1-over back nine while Wu was even on the final half. Huang's 1-under on the front was four shots better than the next Cardinal in line.
Fifteen teams remain in contention after the third round of stroke play. Led by Vanderbilt, the 15 teams to advance to the fourth and final round of stroke play include Texas, Southern California, LSU, host Oregon, Arkansas, Arizona State, California, Oklahoma State, Illinois, Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida, Louisville and Oklahoma.
The Commodores remain atop the leaderboard after shooting a 2-over 282 to sit at 5-over after three rounds.
Sitting atop the individual leaderboard is Oregon's Aaron Wise, as the sophomore posted the lowest round of the tournament so far, firing a 6-under 64.
Stanford was in sixth place following action Sunday at the LaserPerformance Team Race Nationals in Mission Bay and hosted by San Diego State.
The Cardinal has an 11-6 mark.
Stanford skippers: Axel Sly; Antoine Screve; Will La Dow. Crew: John Cannistraro; Samantha Steele; Kathryn Booker.