Men’s Crew Claims Sixth at IRA National Championship

Men’s Crew Claims Sixth at IRA National Championship

GOLD RIVER, Calif. – Brown University men's crew finished sixth overall in the varsity eight grand final as the Bears completed the third and final day of the IRA National Championship Sunday on Lake Natoma.

Brown reached the varsity eight grand final for the ninth-straight year, the race that determines the national champion, and bested its entry seed by two spots. Yale took first overall for the national title. Brown also reached the grand final in the varsity four and won the petite final in the second varsity.

The Bears finished sixth in the Jim Ten Eyck Memorial Trophy for the second straight season, awarded to the school with the most team points, while Washington was first overall in team points.

"I thought today the whole team came forward and raced really well," said head coach Paul Cooke. "The assistant coaches did a great job keeping everyone going, showing up on finals day and racing well."

In the varsity eight grand final, the race that officially determines the national champion, the Bears rowed out of the sixth lane. Brown lined up against the same five crews as last year's grand final, including reigning champion California, Washington and Ivy foes Harvard, Princeton and Yale. Yale came out strong and had a small lead over Washington at 500 meters, holding three seats over the rest of the field. The Bulldogs held off Washington down the stretch in a close finish at the line, while Harvard crossed in third place. Brown battled Cal in the closing 400 meters, but fell just short of fifth place by less than a second, placing sixth overall at 5:36.950.

"Just coming into the racing and advancing as far as they did was a huge accomplishment," said Cooke on the varsity. "I was really pleased by the way they pulled themselves together and competed for Brown."

"It was a fast final and I was glad that we were able to put ourselves in the grand final, compete against these crews and put Brown in the position to win a national championship," said Finn Meeks '17.

In Brown's first race of the morning, the varsity four grand final, California and Washington used a big opening surge to move out in front. Washington quickly secured a strong lead over the rest of the field and improved to open water over Cal at 1,000 meters, while Princeton joined the duo to make up the top three boats. Brown made a late push against BU and Marietta in a fight for fourth place, but the Bears were edged for sixth place at 6:40.772.

Brown won the second varsity petite final for seventh place overall. After Brown and Northeastern pushed off with the best starts, the Bears separated from the Huskies at 500 meters, while Cornell moved up for second place. Cornell made a pair of attacks during the middle 1,000 meters, moving up to Bruno's seventh seat on one occasion, but the Bears responded each time to maintain a solid lead. Brown rowed to a first-place finish at 5:51.37, holding off Penn and Dartmouth.

The third varsity posted a wire-to-wire victory in the third final, as the Bears reached an open water lead in the second 500 meters and maintained the advantage the rest of the way for the win at 5:54.036.

Sunday Results
Varsity Eight – Grand Final
1          YALE - 5:29.900
2          WASHINGTON - 5:29.969
3          HARVARD - 5:33.455
4          PRINCETON - 5:33.786
5          CALIFORNIA - 5:36.260
6          BROWN - 5:36.950 

Varsity Four – Grand Final
1          WASHINGTON - 6:23.811
2          CALIFORNIA - 6:28.354
3          PRINCETON - 6:34.310
4          BU - 6:39.058
5          MARIETTA - 6:39.805
6          BROWN - 6:40.772 

Second Varsity – Petite Final
1          BROWN - 5:51.379
2          PENNSYLVANIA - 5:52.897
3          DARTMOUTH - 5:53.598
4          CORNELL - 5:54.721
5          NORTHEASTERN - 5:56.791
6          G WASHINGTON - 6:03.446 

Third Varsity – Third Final
1          BROWN - 5:54.036
2          OREGON STATE - 5:57.210
3          G WASHINGTON - 5:57.447
4          STANFORD - 6:02.806
5          ST JOES - 6:09.727
6          DREXEL - 6:17.683 

Team Championship Points
Washington – 211
Yale – 195
Harvard – 187
California – 186
Princeton – 181
Brown – 131
Boston U. – 127
Northeastern – 125
Dartmouth – 117
Cornell – 95
Wisconsin – 94
Syracuse – 92
Navy – 74
Penn – 74
George Washington – 65
Stanford – 37
Columbia – 22
Oregon State -15
St. Joseph's – 6
FIT – 5
Hobart – 4
Drexel – 3
Santa Clara – 0
UCSD – 0

C: Benson Stevens
8: Finn Meeks
7: Alex Miklasevich
6: Andy Provost
5: Jack Abeel
4: Viggo Hoite
3: Grant Bitler
2: Rufus Biggs
1: Russell Dodd