June 5, 2009

Bears Qualify Varsity Eight for Grand Final

Sacramento, CA - The Brown men's crew finished the second day of the IRA Championship Regatta on Friday afternoon, advancing the varsity eight to the grand finals, and the varsity four to the petites. The eight will join the second varsity eight and the freshman eight in the top final on Saturday, with each of the three boats having the opportunity to win a national title.

The varsity four led off the racing needing to win their repechage to advance to the grand final. Dark horse Mary Washington went hard off the line gunning for the upset, and held a slim lead at the 500 mark, with Brown in hot pursuit. Georgetown and Florida Institute of Technology came on strong in the second quarter, however, ranking 1-2 at the midway point, and the Bears continuing to push from third. Georgetown poured it on in the second half though, pulling away from the field to win the event in 6:53.3. Brown was a close second at 6:55.4, with FIT in third at 6:56.6. Though they missed the grands, the Bears advanced to the petite final, with a chance to finish as high as seventh in the country.

Brown's second, and final, race of the day was the semifinals of the varsity eight, with the Bears again needing a top-three finish, this time to advance to the grand finals on Saturday. Stanford went hard off the line to take an early lead, holding off the field for the first 1500 meters of the race while Brown fought with Washington for second place. However, the Huskies turned in a terrific finish over the last quarter of the race, overtaking Stanford to win the event with a time of 5:53.2. Stanford held on to take second at 5:55.7, with the Bears third at 6:01.1. Cal won the second semifinal with a time of 5:46.4, with Harvard and Boston University rounding out the first three crews and qualifying for the grand final.

The Bears will continue racing at IRA's tomorrow morning, with racing kicking off at 1:12 p.m. ET with the finals of the varsity four.