Men's Rowing Wins Seven Races, Two Gold Medals at SIRA Championships
April 22, 2012
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. - The George Washington men's rowing team totaled seven first-place finishes over the weekend, highlighted by two gold medals, at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championships on Melton Hill Lake.
Both the Varsity 8 and Freshman 8 won gold medals in Sunday's Grand Finals. Each boat won two races on Saturday - a preliminary heat and a semifinal - to earn a spot in the Grand Final field for each respective event.
In the Grand Final of the Varsity 8, the Colonials found themselves in a stroke-for-stroke sprint with Virginia over the final 250 meters. In the end it was GW pulling ahead by just three-tenths of a second (5:45.30) over the Cavaliers (5:45.60).
"It was a really great, but also a very tough race," said Head Coach Mark Davis. "We were in second place behind FIT at about 500 meters, then moved into first at 1,000. Virginia battled back and we really had to hold them off at the end."
The Freshman 8 also had success on Sunday, defeating crews from Notre Dame, Purdue, North Carolina and Virginia en route to claiming a gold medal in the Grand Final. The Colonials edged second-place Marietta by 1.3 seconds in 5:57.20. Virginia followed in third place in 6:05.62.
The Freshman 8 crew has now won four consecutive races, including a dual victory over Holy Cross at the GW Invitational.
"The Freshman had a great weekend with solid performances both days," said Coach Davis.
For the first time this season, the Colonials fielded a Varsity 4, which also qualified for a Grand Final after two second-place finishes on Saturday.
"Our Varsity 4 made the Grand Finals, which was a fun experience. We don't normally race a four, so it was nice to see them make a run," said Coach Davis.
The Colonials return to action next weekend with a series of races against Georgetown and Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J.
"Overall, it was a really good weekend and now we are looking faster leading up to Georgetown and Rutgers next week," said Coach Davis. "It is obviously a big weekend for us since Georgetown got the better of us last time."