Stanford rowers finish fourth at NCAA championships

Stanford rowed to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA championships in Sarasota, Fla. Photo courtesy of Stanford Athletics.

Stanford enjoyed a podium finish for the third time in the past five years, placing fourth as a team at the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships Saturday afternoon at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Fla.

The Cardinal finished fourth overall in the varsity eight, seventh overall in the second varsity eight and eighth overall in the varsity four to total 104 points as a team.

The point total tied Virginia, with Stanford breaking the tie and capturing fourth place with a higher finish in the varsity eight. In rowing, the top four in the team standings are recognized with trophies on the podium.

California (130 points) won the NCAA Championship, while Washington (128 points) placed second and Texas (115 points) finished third.

Saturday's final races were originally scheduled for Sunday, but the impending arrival of Subtropical Storm Alberto in the area forced the regatta to conclude with a condensed schedule on Saturday under heavy rain at times.

The varsity eight jockeyed for position all race long in Saturday's Grand Final. The Cardinal ultimately finished fourth, a length back of Texas.

Five seats back of California at the midpoint of the course, the Cardinal tried to better its position among a crowded field of boats. Texas moved into third around the 1,250-meter mark.

The Cardinal finished fourth, a length back of the Longhorns (6:17.800) with a time of 6:20.495. California (6:14.857) edged Washington (6:16.535) to take home the varsity eight crown.

Stanford was dominant in the second varsity eight Petite Final, leading from start to finish. The Cardinal surged out a deck lead in the first 500 meters and stretched its advantage to three quarters of a length over Ohio State at 1,000 meters.

Stanford held its lead through the finish, capturing the Petite Final with a time of 6:34.105 over the second-place Buckeyes (6:36.597) to place seventh overall in the second varsity eight field.

In another thrilling race, Stanford placed second in the varsity four Petite Final. The Cardinal battled with Virginia and Brown throughout the course.

Level with Brown at 500 meters, Stanford pushed its bow ahead by a deck over the Bears as they approached the midpoint of the course. Ahead of Brown and a length back of Virginia as the boats entered the final 1,000 meters, Stanford tried to catch the Cavaliers.

The Cardinal continued to stretch its advantage over Brown, but could not reach Virginia at the finish. Virginia crossed the line first with a time of 7:14.594, while Stanford posted a time of 7:19.281 and Brown recorded a time of 7:20.449. The Cardinal placed eighth overall in the varsity eight field.

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