Varsity 8 pushes through challenging conditions on final day of racing
All three entries finish the day in their petite finals
Varsity 8 takes first in photo finish
Colonials face competitive field in Rhode Island
The Colonials won all six races on their home course this weekend
Mark Davis enters his ninth year as head coach of the men's rowing team at The George Washington University in 2017-18.
The Colonials enjoyed another fine season under Davis in 2017 as all three entries either tied or outperformed its seeding for the second consecutive season at the IRA National Championships in Sacramento, California. The Varsity 8 won the Third-Level Final to tie the best finish in program history at No. 14 in the nation. The 2nd Varsity 8 rowed in a competitive Petite Final to notch a program-best national ranking of 12th and the 3rd Varsity 8 rounded out GW's entries with a third-place showing in the Third-Level Final to clinch a final national ranking of No. 15.
In the summer of 2016 the men's rowing program made its first-ever appearance at the legendary Henley Royal Regatta on the River Thames in Henley-on-Thames, England. GW split its Varsity 8 into a two fours in the Visitors Challenge Cup, with the A4 scoring a two-length victory over Cambridge University & Goldie Boat Club for GW's first-ever international victory.
The men's rowing program continued its upward trajectory under Davis' leadership in 2016 as al three boats either tied or out-performed its seeding at the 2016 IRA National Championships. GW placed 18th overall as a team in the Ten Eyck Award standings after an 18th-place finish by the Varsity 8, a 14th-place finish by the 2nd Varsity 8 and an 11th-place finish by the 3rd Varsity 8.
The Colonials also placed fifth overall in the 2016 Chapman Award standings, which is the team point trophy for the Most Improved Team in the nation from last season.
GW's Varsity 8 finished as the 22nd-ranked crew in the nation in 2015 while the JV8 finished as the No. 15 crew, its best finish since 2009. Additionally, GW's 3rd Varsity 8 finished with a final national ranking of No. 16.
The Colonials continued to make strides under Davis' leadership in 2014 as the Varsity 8 and Freshmen 8 boats clinched the program's best-ever performances at the 2014 Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championship. The Varsity 8 boat concluded the season ranked 14th overall in the nation, the best mark in program history and a one-spot improvement from 2013. Additionally, the Freshmen 8 and JV8 each won their respective finals to wrap an impressive season that saw the Colonials capture titles at the GW Invitational, Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championships and at one point amass 21 consecutive victories.
Davis led the Colonials' Varsity 8 boat to a 15th-place finish at the 2013 Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championship, tying the program's best performance at the event. As a whole, the program finished in second place in the Clayton W. Chapman Award standings, which is awarded to the most improved team in the nation. The Freshmen 8 totaled 27 points and finished 10th overall in the nation with a fourth-place showing in the Petite Finals. The Varsity 8 added 20 points for a 15th-place finish. The 47 points is a 29-point improvement from GW's performance at the 2012 installment of the IRA National Championships and placed them behind only Northeastern (36-point improvement) in the Chapman Award standings.
Davis led the Colonials to seven wins and two gold medals at the 2012 Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championships and a fourth-place finish at the GW Invitational during his third season at the helm of the program. With their gold-medal performance in the Varsity 8 at the SIRA Championships, the Colonials earned and invitation to the prestigious Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championship.
In his second season the Colonials had the honor of racing Brock University of Ontario in the petite final of the inaugural Potomac Challenge Cup. In the closest race of the two-day event GW was edged by Brock by just two-tenths of a second on the Potomac River.
Under Davis's direction the Colonials totaled 10 top-five finishes over two days at the 2011 Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championships in Oak Ridge, Tenn., advancing to the Grand Finals in the Varsity 8, JV 8 and Varsity 4.
At the 2011 Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championships, the Colonials won the Gold Medal in the Varsity 4 Petite Final.
In his first season at the helm, the GW men's rowing team notched a first place finish (out of 14) at the Occoquan Chase and a seventh place finish (out of 43) at the Princeton Chase. Under his guidance the team also captured the McCausland Cup, winning a showdown with the University of Pennsylvania.
Davis came to Foggy Bottom from Yale University, where he spent three seasons as head coach and lead recruiter of the Heavyweight Freshman Men's Rowing team in New Haven, CT.
While at Yale, Davis' Freshmen Eight finished in the grand finals of the Eastern Sprints all three seasons. His freshmen eight in 2008 also finished fourth at the IRA Nationals. Davis brings 16 years of coaching experience to George Washington.
Davis also was the head men's rowing coach at the University of California at San Diego for three years prior to his stint at Yale. His crews won five medals at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships, while UCSD won the overall point trophy at the 2006 WIRA championship for the first time in the program's history. Prior to UCSD, Davis was the assistant women's rowing coach at the University of Texas at Austin.
While at Austin, Davis spent three years helping to elevate the Texas program to its first bid to the NCAA Women's Rowing Championship in 2003. Texas finished 12th in the nation that year, its best performance ever.
From 1996-2000, Davis was the head men's and women's rowing coach at Colby (ME) College. He transformed a struggling club team into an elite Division III varsity program. His crews won medals at the New England Championships, Dad Vails, Champion Regatta, IRAs, and the Head of the Charles.
Davis began his coaching career at his alma mater, Hobart College, where he studied under his mentor and former Yale coach, Jim Joy. A 1993 graduate of Hobart, Davis earned a B.A. in United States history and was captain of the rowing team.
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