Incoming Stanford freshman Ruth Narode is the youngest member of the United States under 23 women's eight rowing team that had one goal going into the World Rowing Under 23 Championships. The Americans wanted to defend their title.
Even with five new rowers in the lineup, the Americans accomplished their goal, winning the gold medal on Sunday in Linz, Austria.
Narode, who sits in the bow seat, helped the U.S. get off the line first and take a three-second lead after 1,000 meters.
Other U.S. crew members include coxswain Kendall Schmidt, Kristine O'Brien, Madison Culp, Amanda Elmore, Courtney Diekema, Corinne Schoeller, Erin Boxberger and Anne Rauschert.
"I think it's the purest feeling to know that you wouldn't want to race with any other combination of rowers," Narode said. "I think now we set a standard and we'll have to continue it the next few years."
Great Britain closed the gap slightly in the third 500, but the U.S. charged ahead, crossing the line in a 6:16.81. Great Britain took silver in a 6:19.15, with Germany bronze in a 6:21.61.
"It feels good," said Schmidt, who coxed the U.S. to gold at last year's under 23 championships. "It was definitely a very different race (from last year). We had a lot of courage out there, and that's what it took to finish ahead. I think when we crossed into the 1,500 (meters), we just focused on breathing, relaxing and trusting in our base rhythm and our base fitness. Over the course of the summer, we've really just come together and trusted our boat. That's what it took."
The Grand Final was contested under a blaring sun, as temperatures broke the 100 degree mark.
"It was amazing," said Schoeller. "I don't have words to describe what this feels like. Kendall did a phenomenal job. We put in so many meters and we, as a boat, trust each other so much. Right off the line, we knew to believe in our base."
Women's field hockey
Stanford's Kelsey Harbin and the United States Under-23 women's national field hockey team dropped a 5-1 decision to the defending world champion Netherlands on Sunday in pool play of the ERGO Hockey JuniorWorld Cup.
Lieke van Wijk, the tournament's leading scorer, scored three times for the Dutch.
"The Netherlands are a pretty good team," U.S. coach Steve Jennings said. "I was actually happy with a huge part of the game. We played very well for large segments. We just have to learn to be better at some defending moments and being able to score some important goals. Our main objective is to put us in a position in the top half of the draw."
The Americans (1-1) meet Ghana (0-2) in the final match of pool play. A victory would extend the U.S. stay in Germany.
Stanford's Maddie Secco will not likely reach the qualification round after Team Canada dropped a 2-1 decision to China.
The Chinese scored the game winner with 1:23 remaining in the match.
"We are happy with our overall performance, though the outcome is disappointing," Canada coach Ian Rutledge said. "We had eleven penalty corners but, unfortunately, couldn't convert most of them. We had a lot of scoring opportunities to win this match over and over again. We still have a lot to play for. South Africa is a tough opponent but we want to make sure to finish off the pool-play with a win."
Stanford grad Eugene Godsoe earned a spot in the finals of the 50 fly of the FINA World Championships in Barcelona on Sunday.
Godsoe qualified seventh of 16 in the preliminaries and then swam 23.16 in the semifinal to grab the last spot in the final.