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Women’s lightweight rowing secures fifth-straight IRA championship

Cardinal remain dominant in Gold River

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As California’s Golden State Warriors pursue their third NBA championship in a row, an even longer streak was preserved at Gold River, CA, where Stanford women’s lightweight rowing won its fifth-straight Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) team championship on Sunday.

Though victory was sealed on Sunday, the Cardinal were dominant all weekend, as the Varsity Eight and Varsity Four teams finished first in Saturday’s heat races for Sunday’s lane positioning.

After a fifth-place finish in Sunday’s Double Grand Final, Stanford made use of its hard-earned lanes by winning both the Varsity Eight and Varsity Four Grand Finals.

The Varsity Four came in at 7:12.848, finishing well ahead of runner-up Boston University (7:19.504) and third-place Wisconsin (7:25.798). The Varsity Eight Grand Final was closer, but Stanford clinched its IRA team victory with a time of 6:32.825, topping runner-up Princeton (6:37.335) and third-place Boston University (6:40.462).

There is much talk of three-peats in the world of sports — and with Sunday’s triumph — Cardinal head coach Kate Bertko has joined the ranks of Michael Jordan and Derek Jeter by solidifying a three-peat of her own. Bertko has met unprecedented success as head coach, notching team championships in each of her first three seasons at the helm of the program.

Not to mention, Stanford now has nine total IRA national team championships, more than any other school in history. The closest competitor, Wisconsin, has just four.

The Daily has reached out to women’s lightweight rowing for comment.

Contact Holden Foreman at hs4man21 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Holden Foreman '21 is The Daily's Executive Editor. He hails from the city of St. Louis, Missouri and is studying electrical engineering, computer science and economics. Contact him at hs4man21 'at' stanford.edu.