Weekend Interviews: Craig Amerkhanian and Al Acosta of Stanford

Head coach Craig Amerkhanian addresses his team after the race (Photo: B. Kitch)
For the Stanford men's rowing team, it was a (wait for it) 'red letter day' at Redwood Shores last Saturday, as the varsity eight, stroked by former junior world champion Austin Hack, showed tremendous speed against their rival Cal, nearly setting a new course record on the way to victory. The Stanford crew was just 0.7 seconds off the 5:30.5 set by Washington's IRA champion varsity eight last year, and Cal also posted their fastest time in recent memory at Redwood Shores, breaking 5:33 in a losing effort.

The Stanford lightweight women's varsity crossing 1250m (Photo: B. Kitch)
Earlier in the morning, Al Acosta's Stanford lightweight women's varsity eight took on a heavyweight third varsity eight from Cal, winning convincingly in a time of 6:37.9 to Cal's 6:48.2. The Cardinal have won three straight IRA titles, and are looking to be in contention for yet another podium finish this year. The team also recently returned from a trip to Boston, which was affected by the events surrounding the Boston Marathon—though initially it looked as though racing might be canceled, order was restored in time for the Cardinal to take on  No. 1 Radcliffe. The Black and White crew took the race by roughly six seconds, with Stanford finishing second ahead of Princeton and Boston University. One interesting note: Stanford, currently ranked No. 2, has never entered the IRA as the top seed during their three year streak of championship titles.


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