Men’s Crew Advances Varsity Eight, Varsity Four to Grand Finals at IRA Championship

Men’s Crew Advances Varsity Eight, Varsity Four to Grand Finals at IRA Championship

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GOLD RIVER, Calif. – Brown University men's crew secured spots in the varsity eight and varsity four grand finals as the Bears completed the second day of competition at the IRA National Championship Saturday on Lake Natoma. 

The varsity eight reached the grand finals for the ninth-straight season and will race in the national championship tomorrow at 3:30 PM (EST). The varsity four also took third in their heat and will row in the grand final tomorrow at 12:30 PM (EST). The second varsity and third varsity will row in the petite final and third final, respectively. The winner of the varsity eight will determine the IRA National Champion, while the three eights will collectively decide the Ten Eyck Team Trophy.

"Coming into the regatta, we felt as though me made some adjustments, and it was good to see that in the heats and semifinal, we were able to make those adjustments in the heat of competition," said head coach Paul Cooke on the varsity. "There is a lot to be said about their ability to keep focused, and try to figure out how to get back and then to do that in the semifinals of the national championship." 

The second semifinal of the varsity eight featured seven crews as Northeastern was added to the field following a racecourse protest in the heats. California stormed off the line and quickly moved to the front of the pack, while Harvard moved up to second and the rest of the field followed in a level position. Northeastern advanced to third place at the 500-meter mark, while Brown and Boston University pushed the Huskies for the final spot to the grand finals. The Bears made their move during the middle 1,000 meters, surging past BU and Northeastern for a comfortable third-place position heading into the final 400 meters. Harvard passed Cal for the win before Brown claimed third in a time of 5:40.226.

Brown will meet Harvard, California, Washington, Yale and Princeton in the national championship race tomorrow at 3:30 PM (EST).

The Brown second varsity crew raced in the second semifinal with three spots to the grand final on the line. Yale built an early lead, followed by California and Princeton, as the top three crews separated from the rest of the field at the midway point. Brown managed to advance past George Washington and Cornell, but the Bears could not catch up to Princeton, as the Bears took fourth at 5:52.50.

Brown's second varsity will face Cornell, George Washington, Northeastern, Penn and Dartmouth in the petite final tomorrow at 2:10 PM (EST).

In the third varsity C/D semifinal, Brown benefited from an early jump at the start and established nearly an open water advantage at the 500-meter point. The Bears continued to pad their lead and had open water over second-place Stanford at 1,000 meters, cruising to victory at 5:59.134. The Bears will row in the third level final Sunday at 12:50 PM (EST).

In the varsity four, Washington raced out to a strong lead and held a length of open water over Navy at 600 meters, as the rest of the crews battled for two spots to the grand finals. Brown crossed the midway point in fourth, but then passed Marist and pushed past Navy with 500 meters remaining, placing third at 6:24.87 to move on the to grand final.

"The whole squad has been working hard at it and it's great to see the four make it," added Cooke.

Brown's varsity four will race against BU, Washington, California, Princeton and Marietta tomorrow at 12:30 PM (EST). 

Saturday Semifinal Results
Varsity Eight – Semifinal 2
1          HARVARD - 5:38.375
2          CALIFORNIA - 5:39.651
3          BROWN - 5:40.226
4          SYRACUSE - 5:44.149
5          NORTHEASTERN - 5:45.918
6          WISCONSIN - 5:48.004
7          BU - 5:49.117 

Second Varsity – Semifinal 2
1          CALIFORNIA - 5:39.800
2          YALE - 5:40.120
3          PRINCETON - 5:47.400
4          BROWN - 5:52.500
5          G WASHINGTON - 5:55.500
6          CORNELL - 5:57.100 

Third Varsity – Semifinal 3
1          BROWN - 5:59.134
2          STANFORD - 6:04.719
3          ST JOES - 6:09.390
4          SANTA CLARA - 6:15.802 

Varsity Four – Semifinal 1
1          WASHINGTON - 6:18.168
2          BU - 6:24.484
3          BROWN - 6:24.874
4          MARIST - 6:25.801
5          NAVY - 6:27.918
6          DARTMOUTH - 6:41.903