Bears' Varsity Eight Capture Bronze At IRA Championships

June 3, 2006

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Camden, NJ - The Brown men's crew capped off an exciting 2006 season with a bronze medal in the varsity eight race of the 2006 IRA National Championships on the Cooper River in Camden, NJ on Saturday. Ranked fourth throughout most of the regular season, Head Coach Paul Cooke's crew earned a fourth seed at the IRA's after placing third at the Eastern Sprints. The headlining race proved to be one of the most competitive in recent history as a mere five seconds seperated the entire field. In addition to the varsity eight's bronze medal, the Bears also received the Chapman Award as the most improved team at the regatta.

Second seeded Cal, under the direction of former Brown head coach Steve Gladstone, took gold, coming in two seconds ahead of heavily favored Princeton. The Bears came in just 1.2 seconds behind the Tigers but got their revenge on Harvard, which beat out Brown for the silver medal at Easterns two weeks ago. Ironically enough, the same crews occupied the women's NCAA Championship varsity eight top three only in a different order. Washington, which placed second ahead of Brown in yesterday's semifinal, finished fifth while Yale took sixth.

Brown's third place finish was especially exciting as the Bears had not appeared in the IRA grand final since 2001, placing tenth overall last year.

In the other races, Brown's second varsity eight placed sixth in its grand final while the freshman eight won the petite final. In addition, the open four took fifth in its petite final.

Men's Varsity Eight Grand Final
1 California 5:37.71
2 Princeton 5:39.66
3 Brown 5:40.92
4 Harvard 5:41.96
5 Washington 5:42.44
6 Yale 5:42.84

Men's Second Varsity Eight Grand Final
1 Harvard 5:44.11
2 Yale 5:47.79
3 Wisconsin 5:52.21
4 Washington 5:54.21
5 Northeastern 5:57.67
6 Brown 5:58.92

Men's Freshman Eight Petite Final
1 Brown 5:49.16
2 Northeastern 5:50.91
3 Boston U. 5:54.15
4 Cornell 5:55.22
5 Yale 5:56.59
6 Georgetown 5:59.01

Men's Open Fours w/ Cox
1 Harvard 6:44.48
2 Dartmouth 6:47.34
3 Georgetown 6:50.28
4 Penn 6:50.93
5 Brown 6:55.64
6 GW Univ. 7:10.93