May 31, 2006
Camden, NJ - The Brown men's crew will begin competition at the 2006 IRA National Championship on the Cooper River in Camden, NJ on Thursday. The Bears' varsity eight received the fourth overall seed while its second varsity eight and freshman eight are seeded sixth and ninth, respectively. The varsity eight placed third overall at the Eastern Sprints Championship two weeks ago. In 2000, the second varsity eight won gold at the IRA Championship while overall, Brown has captured a total of 19 gold medals at IRA's.
The varsity eight is the top seed in Heat D, which will begin at 8:12 a.m. on Thursday. Also featured in the heat is fifth seeded Northeastern and 12th seeded Georgetown along with unseeded Colorado and Army. The top two finishers in each of the four heats will advance to the semifinals on Friday. The rest of the field will compete in Thursday afternoons repechages. Princeton received the top seed in the varsity eight while California and Harvard round out the top three, respectively.
The second varsity eight will be the second seed behind Harvard in its opening heat on Thursday at 9:36 a.m. Also featured in the race will be seventh seeded Northeastern, 10th seeded Cornell, 11th seeded Syracuse and unseeded Dartmouth. The winner of each heat will advance to the grand final while the rest will move to Friday's repechages.
The Bears' freshman eight will be the third seed in their heat on Thursday at 8:48 a.m. Brown must contend with top-seeded California, eighth seeded Yale, and unseeded MIT, Lehigh and Michigan in its heat. The top two finishers in each heat will advance on to the semifinals while the rest will compete in Thursday afternoon's repechages.
Brown has also entered in the open fours event. The Bears will compete in heat three set to begin at 12:12 p.m. on Thursday. The top finisher in each heat will advance to the grand final while the rest will advance to Friday's repechages.
Brown finished 11th overall as a team at last year's IRA Championships, which is considered the national championship of men's collegiate rowing. The Bears' varsity eight havs won a total of seven IRA Championships, its last coming in 1995. Prior to that Brown won three National Collegiate Rowing Championships from 1993-1995, which was then, the recognized national championship of men's crew.