June 3, 2005

Men's Crew Begins Competition At 2005 IRA Regatta

June 3, 2005

Camden, NJ - The Brown men's crew began competition at the 2005 IRA Regatta, which will determine the 2005 national champion, on Thursday, held on the Cooper River in Camden, NJ. The Bears raced a total of five boats, including their second seeded freshman eight crew and four are still in the running to advance to Saturday's grand finals.

The Brown varsity eight, seeded eighth, placed fourth in its opening heat, timing in at 6:09.84. Defending national champion Harvard won the heat with a time of 5:58.15. Oregon State took second while Cornell rounded out the top three.

The Bears rebounded from the fourth place finish, winning their second chance repechage heat later in the afternoon. Brown had dispatched Syracuse by a length of open water, with Virginia and MIT following. It was an entirely different Brown crew that took the water for its late-afternoon race. The Bears stormed to a half-length lead in the first 500 meters and just kept moving away.

"They came together and rowed really, really well," said Head Coach Paul Cooke. "I'm proud of them." The victory moves the Bears into Friday's semifinals when they will face the top-seeded Crimson, third seeded Princeton, fifth seeded Northeastern, tenth seeded Navy and unseeded Michigan. Three of the five defeated the Bears at the Eastern Sprints just three weeks ago.

Three from that heat will qualify for the grand finals. Harvard and Princeton, which won their morning heats yesterday. "If we row the way they did today, we have a chance," said Cooke.

The other varsity semifinal heat will bring together the top four PAC 10 finalists -- Cal-Berkeley, Washington, Stanford and Oregon State -- plus Boston University and Yale.

Brown's freshman crew was beaten for the first time this season, but the Bears' second-place finish behind Washington yesterday morning was enough to get them into the semifinals. The Brown frosh face their own huge challenge to make the finals in a heat with undefeated California, third seeded Princeton, fifth seeded Penn, eighth seeded Northeastern and Yale. The top three advance to the grand finals while the 4-6 finishes will move to the petite final.

The freshman four moved onto Friday's semifinals with a second place finish in its afternoon repechage after placing third in its morning heat. The Bears easily defeated third place finisher Geaorgetown in the rep. Friday's semifinal will feature Temple, Yale, Gonzaga, Stanford and Navy. The top three finishers will advance to the grand final while places 4-6 will go to the petite final.

The varsity four with no coxswain will compete in Friday's repechage after taking third in its opening heat. The first place finisher in the rep will go on to the grand final while the second and third place finishers will compete in the petite final. The varsity four with a coxswain failed to advance to the grand or petite finals with fifth place finishes in its opening heat and second chance rep. Instead, Brown will be rowing in its semifinal tomorrow for a spot in the third level final.

Friday's IRA Race Schedule
Freshman Fours Semifinal #1 (Brown in lane 5)-8:48 a.m.

Varsity Four without coxswain Rep #2 (Brown in lane 2)-9:48 a.m.

Varsity Eight Semifinal #2 (Brown in lane 6)-11:24 a.m.

Freshman Eight Semifinal #2 (Brown in lane 4)-12:48 a.m.

Varsity Four Semifinal #3 (Brown in lane 6)-2:00 p.m.