The varsity eight advanced to the grand final by placing second in the first heat earlier in the day with a time of 5:51.47, the second-best out of all three heats. The key for the Bears was coming ahead of Northeastern, which was seeded higher.
The Huskies defeated Brown during the regular season but this time around the Bears took a deck-length lead one minute into the race and held off Northeastern under intense pressure the rest of the way. With 250 meters to go, Northeastern appeared to have pulled even, but the Bears upped their beat to 41 1/2 strokes a minute and regained their deck-length advantage.
After that performance, Head Coach Paul Cooke agreed anything the Brown varsity accomplished from then on would be an added bonus. "I felt our guys were really charged up to race today," said Cooke. "I thought we had a chance to go even further than we did but the wind didn't help us."
The wind, which was pretty strong at times, blew for the most part of the day off the Shrewsbury shore and the Brown varsity was in the most exposed lane. "I thought the guys did a terrific job. I was really proud of them," said Cooke. I thought they brought a higher standard of racing to the boathouse today."
The Bears ended the day with a fifth place finish in the grand final, coming in at 6:16.2. Harvard was first, earning the Ivy League title while Wisconsin placed second. Rounding out the top three was Dartmouth as Brown was third among the Ivies.
Other highlights from the championships included the third varsity and freshman crews advancing to the grand finals as well. The freshmen easily advanced, placing first in the third heat with a time of 6:06.62, a length a head of Wisconsin. The third varsity timed in at 6:14.23 in its heat, good for the fifth spot in the finals.
The frosh couldn't beat Wisconsin twice in a row in their afternoon battle for third place in the grand final. The two crews were on almost even terms through the first 1,200 meters, but the Badgers, rowing in the most sheltered lane close to the shore, drew away from the Bears. Brown took fourth with a time of 6:27.55. The third varsity placed fifth in its grand final with a time of 6:44.92 as Wisconsin took the crown.
The second varsity couldn't turn the tables on the Dartmouth crew, which had beaten them earlier in the season, and had to settle for third place in its heat, dropping into the petite finals. The Bears took third in the extremely close final as Northeastern edged out Syracuse by 1.51 seconds. Brown followed just .18 seconds later for the third spot.
The Brown crews will see action again on May 29-31 at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Varsity Eight Grand Final:
Third Varsity Eight Grand Final:
Freshman Eight Grand Final:
Second Varsity Eight Petite Final:
story courtesy of Dave Philips