GW Men's Rowing Completes Day 1 at IRA National Championships
Colonials Send Both Entries to Saturday's Third Level Finals
May 31, 2012
PENNSAUKEN, N.J. - The George Washington men's rowing team opened competition at the IRA National Championships on the Cooper River on Thursday. The Colonials advanced both the Freshman 8 and the Varsity 8 to Saturday's Third Level Finals.
In the morning heats, the Varsity 8 took sixth place in a competitive race against Harvard, Boston University, California, Dartmouth and Stanford. The Colonials navigated the 2,000-meter course in 6:13.412. Harvard, BU and Cal all advanced to the semifinals by finishing in the top three while the remaining boats advanced to the repechage.
In the Freshman 8 morning heat, the Colonials finished in 6:34.565 behind first-place BU, Yale, Dartmouth, Stanford and Penn.
With both boats in the repechage, each needed a third-place finish or better to advance to the semifinals.
The Varsity 8 was edged out of the top three by just three seconds as the Colonials crossed the finish line in 5:39.293, just behind third-place Penn. The Colonials improved on their morning heat time by 34 seconds.
"In the morning heat, the Varsity 8 just raced the course knowing we would likely head to the repechage facing such tough competition," said Head Coach Mark Davis. "In the rep, we got off the line slow and ended up playing catch-up. We were down a lot at the 1,000-meter mark, but we made a great charge to blow past Gonzaga and Dartmouth, but ultimately just ran out of race course as we tried to chase down Navy and Penn."
The Freshman 8 also improved on its morning heat time. The Colonials finished the repechage in 6:21.386 - more than 13 seconds faster than its morning heat - but failed to finish in the top three.
"It was a similar situation for the Freshman 8 rep," said Coach Davis. "Slow start and forced to play catch up. Overall, we had strong times in the reps for both crews."
Both boats will now have a day off from racing on Friday in preparation for Saturday's Third Level Finals. The Varsity 8 will row against Gonzaga, Dartmouth, Drexel, Northeastern and Stanford at 11:15 a.m., while the Freshman 8 will face Syracuse, Gonzaga, Drexel, Penn and Stanford at 9:10 a.m.
"We are ready to take advantage of the off day and come out ready to work on Saturday," said Coach Davis.