Both Stanford men’s and lightweight women’s rowing will head up to Lake Natoma, California, just north of Sacramento, to take part in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships this upcoming weekend. The No. 10 men will field the first, second and third varsity eight while the No. 1 women’s lightweight rowing program searches for their third consecutive national title.
The first-seed lightweight women’s team has remained No. 1 overall all season under first-year head coach Kate Bertko. The Cardinal women will have the varsity eight, four and doubles compete over the weekend, and each team will open by competing in the first of two heats to qualify for the final race.
The doubles will start up Saturday’s second day of tournament competition as well as the Stanford women’s weekend series by racing against Princeton, Boston, Wisconsin, Harvard and MIT at 8:30 a.m.
Immediately following the doubles heat, the Cardinal lightweight varsity eight will take to the water to compete against Princeton, Wisconsin and Georgetown in the first of two qualifying heats at 8:40 a.m. Subsequently, after the second varsity eight heat, Stanford lightweight varsity four will race against Boston and Tulsa at 9 a.m.
Last year at Lake Mercer, New Jersey, the lightweight eight team propelled Stanford to the team title by winning their Grand Final, while the lightweight four and doubles team placed third in their respective final races.
The men’s rowing team also will travel to Lake Natoma to participate in the IRA Championships as part of 24 total universities to participate. However, while 24 crews will vie for the first and second varsity eight titles, only 20 teams will also field a third varsity eight squad.
Stanford also is one of four Pac-12 universities to qualify for the national tournament, showing the immense depth in the conference this season.
The Cardinal first varsity eight will commence the weekend action on Friday as the team will compete in the fourth and final qualifying heat of the day at 9 a.m. against Wisconsin, Princeton, Harvard, Drexel and St. Joseph’s. Following the conclusion of the lightweight action, the second varsity eight will compete at 9:40 a.m. in the second qualifying heat and will square off against California, Northeastern, Cornell, Pennsylvania and Santa Clara.
Last year saw some success for the Cardinal men’s team who had the first varsity eight and varsity four — who aren’t competing in this weekend’s tournament — earn second in both of their respective final races to power Stanford to eighth in the team tournament. In addition, the Cardinal earned the Clayton W. Chapman Trophy, which recognizes the most improved team in the national regatta.
Despite the early start times, updates of the Cardinal action can be found by following Stanford rowing on Twitter at @Stanfordmrowing and @Stanfordwrowing and on gostanford.com.
Contact Lorenzo Rosas at enzor9 ‘at’ stanford.edu.