The No. 12 Stanford men’s rowing team just barely missed the third-place finish that it had strived for at the Pac-12 Rowing Championships last weekend at Lake Natoma, California, getting edged out by two points by the third-place team, No. 14 Oregon State. The Cardinal ended up finishing in fourth.
“The goal was to get third place,” said head coach Craig Amerkhanian. “Every member of our program raced today so that was great. Unfortunately, we had two boats get outsprinted and that was tough. We have a lot of work to do to get ready for nationals.”
Heavy favorites and the traditional rowing powerhouses of the West Coast, No. 1 Washington and No. 2 California took first and second overall.
Stanford, however, did medal in the 1V8 event, bringing home a bronze and qualifying the team for the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championship. The Cardinal got out to a quick start with a 1:24.42 split in the first 500 meters, as they jumped to third behind Cal and Washington and were able to hold off Oregon State for the remainder of the race.
“We were pretty serious underdogs coming in to the race,” said senior Austin Hack. “We wanted to come out and go as hard as we could and stick with it. We had a really good first 500 meters and then it was just staying in third to lock up a qualify spot for IRAs.”
The 2V8 and frosh eight narrowly missed out on third place finishes themselves, instead each placing fourth after allowing Oregon State to sprint past them in both races in the final 500 meters despite sitting in third for the majority of the race.
On the upside, head coach Craig Amerkhanian was able to give more rowers competition time on the water by fielding a varsity four boat for the first time this spring. The varsity four finished fifth in the event.
“The varsity four was just put together so great racing by those guys,” Amerkhanian said. “I am really proud of those guys.”
The men will continue to work on different lineups and improve on last weekend’s performances in preparations for the IRA National Championships. Both the 1V8 and 2V8 boats qualified for the championships. The regatta begins Friday, May 30 in West Windsor, New Jersey.
Contact Ashley Westhem at awesthem ‘at’ stanford.edu.