GW Men's Rowing to Compete at IRA National Championships
May 29, 2012
WASHINGTON - The George Washington men's rowing team will conclude its 2011-12 season this Thursday through Saturday at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships on the Cooper River in Pennsauken, N.J.
GW, which saw its Varsity 4 boat capture the Petite Final at last year's IRA National Championship, will race a Varsity 8 and Freshman 8 at the annual regatta. Now in its 110th year of existence, the IRA Championships feature the top crews in the country and crowns the winner of the Varsity 8 Grand Final as the National Champion. Teams competing this year are: Boston University, Brown, California, Cornell, Dartmouth, Drexel, Gonzaga, Harvard, Navy, Northeastern, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Stanford, Syracuse, Washington, Wisconsin and Yale.
"The past two and half weeks have been our best training and rowing of the season," said Head Coach Mark Davis. "The semester is over so the team has been able to dedicate 100-percent focus to training and rowing and as a result the training leading up to IRA's has been very productive."
"It is going to be very exciting to race against the top teams in the country," added Coach Davis. "In our conference, we see a lot of the top teams during the season, but this weekend the best teams from the West Coast will also be in the field."
Racing will begin with Thursday's heats. The top two finishers in each heat will advance directly to Friday's semifinals. The remaining boats will be entered in the repechage - or last-chance races - with the top three finishers advancing to the semifinals. Semifinals will be on Friday with Grand Finals, Petite Finals and Third Level Finals following on Saturday.
A points system will be implemented to determine the winner of the Jim "Ten" Eyck Trophy. Points will be awarded based on each team's finish in the Varsity 8, JV 8 and Freshman 8.
The Colonials earned an automatic bid to the IRA National Championships after finishing in first place in the Grand Finals of both the Varsity 8 and Freshman 8 at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championships on April 22.
"Out of the 18 student-athletes competing this weekend, only two of them are graduating," said Coach Davis. "So we will have 16 of the 18 back next year, which is very exciting because they will have gained great experience in both the training and actual racing. Also, our performance this week will be a great marker for us to aim to exceed come next season."