June 1, 2006
Camden, NJ - The Brown men's crew got off to a strong start at the 2006 IRA Championships on Thursday, placing in the top two of three of four events, including a first place finish by its fourth seeded varsity eight. The freshman eight out-raced higher seeded Yale by over 13 seconds to secure its place in Friday's semifinals. The second varsity eight posted the fourth fastest time overall, placing second behind top-seeded Harvard in its morning heat.
The varsity eight posted a winning time of 5:41.23 in its heat, the fourth best time of the morning out of 23 crews. Fifth seeded Northeastern took second behind the Bears in a time of 5:45.55. The heavily favored Princeton Tigers were closely challenged by an eighth seeded Yale crew in its heat, taking first place by just a 1.01 second margin. Also advancing to the semifinals were second seeded California, seventh seeded Washington, third seeded Harvard, and sixth seeded Wisconsin. The semifinals will begin at 12 noon on Friday. The rest of the field will compete in Thursday afternoon repechages.
The second varsity eight timed in at 5:48.02, 4.77 seconds behind the top seeded Crimson. In one of the bigger upsets of the morning, fifth seeded Wisconsin took a 3.15 second win over second seeded California. While Harvard, Yale and Wisconsin advance to Saturday's grand final race, the rest of the field, including Brown, will have to compete for a spot in the final with first place finishes in Friday's repechages, beginning at 11:24 a.m.
After its disappointing finish at the Eastern Sprints two weeks ago, the freshman eight was on a mission to prove its worth in the grand final this time around. Seeded ninth, the Bears clocked the fourth fastest time out of 24 crews and were 2.57 seconds behind top-seeded Cal, proving to be the tightest race out of the four morning heats. The Bears will need to place in the top two of tomorrow's semifinals, set to start at 1:00 p.m., to advance onto the grand final.
The open fours placed fourth in its heat, advancing to Friday's repechages, set to begin at 8:00 a.m.