Men’s Crew Completes Friday Heats at IRA National Championship

IRA Central | Three-Day Schedule | Live Video | Live Results

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – The No. 4 Brown men's crew picked up a trio of top-two finishes in heat racing, including a victory in the third varsity event, as the Bears kicked off the first day of competition at the 2014 IRA National Championship Friday morning on Mercer Lake.

Brown's varsity eight, second varsity and third varsity crews earned automatic qualification to the semifinals on Saturday, while the freshman eight heads to the repechage on Saturday. The varsity four moved to the repechage on Friday afternoon, and won the second rep in open water to advance to the second semifinal on Saturday. 

In the varsity eight, the first event of the day, the Bears joined fellow Ivy rival Princeton as the top two seeds in the fourth heat. Princeton jumped out to an early lead with an aggressive start, but the Bears were not far behind, both well ahead of the rest of the pack. Eventually, the two crews were neck-and-neck, with the Tigers bobbing ahead slightly in front. Princeton took charge, however, with a four-seat lead at the midway mark and held on the rest of the way to win at 5:39.66. Brown crossed in second place at 5:42.67 to qualify directly to Saturday's semifinal round.

In the second varsity, Brown raced in the second heat, along with Northeastern, Dartmouth, Yale, Drexel and San Diego. Northeastern gained an early lead with a deck over Dartmouth, followed by about a seat over the Bears in third. The Huskies held a four-seat advantage over the rest of the pack at 700 meters, but Brown pulled even with Dartmouth, before moving into sole position of second place. Brown pulled to about a seat of the Huskies at the halfway point as the two crews fought for the lead. Nevertheless, Northeastern picked up the rating after Brown's pressure, building a six-seat lead at 1,500 meters for the win. Brown took second at 5:49.38 and directly qualified for the semifinals on Saturday.

In the third varsity event, Brown battled with Boston University and Cornell in a tightly contested start of the third heat. The Bears fought furiously and built a half-length lead over BU at 500 meters, followed by Cornell and Dartmouth, respectively. Brown made another push at 800 meters for a two-third of a length advantage over the Terriers, eventually pulling for a full length lead with about 750 meters remaining, using good compression and length for the win at 5:51.72. BU claimed second at 5:54.09.

California jumped out to a strong start in the first heat of the freshman eight and captured the win for the direct qualifier to Sunday's grand final. Brown gave Cal a run midway through the race, but Wisconsin stormed down the stretch and passed Bruno for second place. Brown crossed in third at 5:51.10 and will join Wisconsin in a repechage for a spot in the finals.

Brown battled West powers Washington and California in the third heat of the varsity four. Cal held a slim lead over the Huskies at the 250-meter mark, as Washington was about a deck lead over MIT and Brown. After Washington pulled even with Cal at 750 meters, Brown passed MIT at the midway point to make it a three-boat race. Washington then moved out in front for a comfortable lead, but Brown picked up the pace and made a run on Cal, but the Bears were edged at the finish line by 6:23.51 to 6:24.24, moving to the afternoon repechage. In that event, the Bears won the second repechage in open water over Princeton to advance to the second semifinal on Saturday.

Friday Morning Results
MV8 – H4
1          PRINCETON - 5:39.669
2          BROWN - 5:42.470
3          NAVY - 5:44.454
4          STANFORD - 5:49.136
5          FIT - 5:51.105
6          HOLY CROSS - 5:59.501 

M2V8 – H2
1          NORTHEASTERN - 5:45.764
2          BROWN - 5:49.388
3          YALE - 5:52.499
4          DARTMOUTH - 6:00.356
5          DREXEL - 6:03.598
6          USD - 6:23.284 

MF8 – H1
1          CALIFORNIA - 5:47.597
2          WISCONSIN - 5:49.170
3          BROWN - 5:51.106
4          GWU - 6:12.038
5          CORNELL - 6:20.644
6          DREXEL - 6:22.081 

M3V8 – H3
1          BROWN - 5:51.727
2          BU - 5:54.093
3          CORNELL - 5:59.692
4          DARTMOUTH - 6:15.120
5          PENNSYLVANIA - 6:20.748
6          DREXEL - 6:47.648 

M4V – H3
1          WASHINGTON - 6:20.956
2          CALIFORNIA - 6:23.511
3          BROWN - 6:24.243
4          MIT - 6:44.521
5          DREXEL - 6:55.831
6          DARTMOUTH - 7:19.561

Friday Afternoon Results
M4V - R1
1          BROWN - 6:28.868
2          PRINCETON - 6:31.853
3          COLGATE - 6:33.962
4          LOYOLA CA - 6:38.350
5          DREXEL - 6:41.501
6          GWU - 6:44.628