Sept. 4, 2008
Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Commissioner Rudy Keeling in conjunction with the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Board of Stewards announced today that the 107th IRA Championships will be held June 4-6, 2009 on Lake Natoma, in Gold River, Calif. The championships will be hosted by the Sacramento Sports Commission and the Sacramento State Aquatic Center, and will be administered by the Aquatic Center Staff and the ECAC. The University of Wisconsin will look to defend its 2008 crowns in the heavyweight men's eight and lightweight women's eight, while Cornell will try to repeat as champions in the lightweight men's eight. The University of Washington is the defending champion in the Jim Ten Eyck team points championship.
Commissioner Keeling, upon making the official announcement, said he was delighted with the move of the championships to Sacramento in 2009. "We have been working for a year with the Sacramento Sports Commission and the Aquatic Center, and I am pleased that we can showcase the best of American intercollegiate rowing on the West Coast. We hope this is only the first of many visits to a part of the country that has a longstanding and deep-seated tradition in the sport of rowing."
John McCasey, Executive Director of the Sacramento Sports Commission was equally enthusiastic about the prospect of bringing the IRA to Lake Natoma. "Sacramento has a history of hosting world class events, and we are honored to be the first community in this part of the U.S. to stage an event of this stature. We intend to put on an outstanding event and look forward to working with the Aquatic Center and the ECAC over the next ten months."
Brian Dulgar, Sacramento State Aquatic Center Director, agreed with McCasey's assessment. "The Aquatic Center has a long history of hosting collegiate rowing championships at the highest level, including the WIRA, Pac-10 and NCAA Women's National Championships multiple times. We are looking forward to setting a new standard for IRA Championships, and believe that the Sports Commission and ECAC will ensure that we all put forth our best efforts in 2009."
The nation's oldest collegiate rowing championship, the IRA was first held in 1895 on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, New York. Poughkeepsie was home to the regatta for all but two years through 1951. Most recently Syracuse (1952-1992, and 1994), and Camden, N.J. (1993 and 1995-2008) have served as regatta sites. The 2009 championships will be the first ever held on the West Coast.