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Navy Heavyweights Complete Competition at Eastern Sprints

The fifth varsity crew after accepting their bronze medals
The fifth varsity crew after accepting their bronze medals
May 13, 2018

WORCESTER, Mass. – The Navy heavyweight crew team went head-to-head with some the best teams on East Coast on Sunday at the 2018 Eastern Sprints. Racing on a 2,000-meter stretch of water on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. the program entered six boats and saw five of those respective crews compete in grand or petite finals. As the conclusion of the day-long event, Navy finished 12th in the Rowe Cup team standings. 

The Mids’ fifth varsity eight squad led the results for Navy on Sunday with a third place finish in its respective race. Navy’s first varsity eight placed 13t hoverall at the meet, which included morning heat races and afternoon grand, petite and third final action.

"Our team raced hard today but fell a little short of our ultimate goals,” remarked head coach Rob Friedrich. “There's no doubt we have gotten faster over the last few weeks and some of our boats took a huge step forward to get right in the mix with the fastest crews in our league."

Navy’s first varsity crew took to the water in the morning in heat number one and recorded a time of 5:49.230. In the afternoon’s third final competition that ranked teams in positions 13 through 17, the Mids controlled the action and won the race to finish 13th overall. Navy’s V8 clocked in with a time of 6:14.241, more than two seconds ahead of Columbia (6:16.683).

"Our Varsity poured everything into the morning heat and posted a very fast time, but was narrowly edged out by a good George Washington crew for a spot in the petite final,” said Friedrich. “They were completely gassed and distraught from the morning row but rebounded well to win the third level final in the afternoon. This crew is not too different from our varsity two years ago, who went on to have a great we have a lot of confidence that we are on the verge of doing something special if given the opportunity."



A fourth place result of 5:53.950 in the heat one in the morning allowed Navy’s second varsity eight crew to advance to the petite final and race for an overall rank between seventh and 12thplace. Battling an equipment failure, the Mids were tested in the petite final and finished in sixth place with a time of 6:26.846 to rank 12that the competition.

"Our 2V had a great heat in the morning and were looking to have an inspired row in the afternoon; but our 4-seat broke his seat during the start and had to row arms and back for the whole race,” remarked Friedrich. “We were very disappointed they couldn't show their true speed. It's a brand new line-up and their times from the morning heat would have put them right in the hunt with some very good crews."

Amongst the upper boats, Navy’s third varsity eight had the best performance of the regatta as the crew placed fourth in the morning at 6:00.779 before coming back in the afternoon’s petite final and finishing in fourth to rank 10th overall. The 3V8 crew posted a 6:08.489 time to clock in ahead of Wisconsin (6:10.106), George Washington (6:11.723) and Columbia (6:14.359).

"Our Third Varsity has also picked up a lot of speed in the last two weeks,” said Friedrich. “After losing to GW and Columbia just two weeks ago, they were able to reverse that finish and also place ahead of Wisconsin. We have a lot of young guys in that boat and we were very proud of their effort today."

The final Navy crew to race twice on Sunday was the fourth varsity, who placed third in their respective morning heat at 6:01.093 to qualify for the grand final. In the race for top-six positioning, the Mids competed with Wisconsin and Brown for the majority of the event before finishing sixth with a time of 6:06.107. The Badgers and Bears recorded times of 6:03.418 and 6:03.832, respectively to place fourth and fifth.

"Our 4V had a solid heat in the morning but were disappointed to finish sixth in the afternoon,” remarked Friedrich. “We were hoping to hang with Brown and Wisconsin but we were just a little off their pace."

The fifth varsity eight competition saw a pair of Navy entries racing on Lake Quinsigamond. Two of seven crews in the single-final class race, Navy’s fifth varsity crew placed third at 6:09.087, while Navy’s sixth boat came in fourth at 6:12.701.

"Our 5V and 6V raced well today to place third and fourth in the 5V race,” said Friedrich. “Wisconsin and Princeton were fast but we felt good to have both crews finish ahead of Brown, Yale and Harvard."

Yale won the Rowe Cup as the highest scoring team at the Sprints with 39.0 points. Princeton and Harvard came in second and third, respectively with point totals of 35.0 and 32.0.

Friedrich reflected on the entire weekend of successful results for the Navy crew family. "Overall, I am very proud of our entire boathouse this weekend. Our Navy Lightweights had a tremendous regatta and proved to be one of the deepest and fastest programs in their league. I was also very excited to see our women's crew win the Patriot League Championship in the face of adversity as their coxed four caught a major crab in the last 500 meters of their race. Our boathouse is strong right now and we are feeding off each other to push our speed to the next level. Collegiate rowing is only getting faster and our coaches are doing a great job competing at the highest level, while preparing our Midshipmen to become outstanding leaders in our military service. We are all very proud of our future officers."

Navy will continue preparing for more postseason action with at-large bids to the IRA National Championships being announced this week. Should they be selected, Navy will compete at the national championship event that will be hosted in West Windsor, N.J. during the weekend of June 1-3.


First Varsity Eight
Heat 1, 5th of 5, 5:49.230
Third Final
Navy – 6:14.241
Columbia – 6:16.683
Georgetown – 6:17.849
Holy Cross - 6:28.936
Rutgers – 6:34.475 

Second Varsity Eight
Heat 1, 4th of 5, 5:53.950
Petite Final
Syracuse – 6:04.087
Wisconsin – 6:08.634
Cornell – 6:12.420
Boston U. – 6:12.829
George Washington – 6:19.263
Navy – 6:26.846 

Third Varsity Eight
Heat 1, 4th of 5, 6:00.779
Petite Final
Syracuse – 6:03.570
Cornell – 6:03.747
Brown – 6:04.910
Navy – 6:08.489
Wisconsin – 6:10.106
George Washington – 6:11.723
Columbia – 6:14.359 

Fourth Varsity Eight
Heat 1, 3rd of 4, 6:01.093
Grand Final
Princeton – 5:53.913
Harvard – 5:58.037
Yale – 6:00.127
Wisconsin – 6:03.418
Brown – 6:03.832
Navy – 6:06.10 

Fifth Varsity Eight
Grand Final
Wisconsin – 6:03.212
Princeton – 6:03.815
Navy 5V – 6:09.087
Navy 6V – 6:12.701
Brown – 6:15.426
Harvard – 6:16.271
Yale – 6:19.863 

Boat Lineups

First Varsity 8
Cox Eli Wood 
Stroke Joseph Merkel
Jared Taintor
Michael Palaski
Andrew Knoll
Owen Firebaugh
Brandon Sagawinia
John Lamb
Bow Nathaniel Auzenbergs

Second Varsity 8
Cox Kathryn Fung
Stroke Caleb Robertson
Jacob Klosowski
Evan Camp
Matt Bute
John Heropoulos
Dwayne Williams
Jack Gainer
Bow Martin Duffy

Third Varsity 8
Cox Nick Street
Stroke Alec Gould
Aaron Hanko
Harrison Bleckley
Justin Desautels
Charlie Linder
Aaron Bullis
David Russell
Bow Parker Novakovic

Fourth Varsity 8
Cox Elise Odom
Stroke Jack Eichen
Zach Scholz
Ben Dunphy
George Williams
Griffin Hamilton
George Gilliam
Matt Gregory
Bow Luke Sullivan

Fifth Varsity 8 
Cox Cheyenne Coughlin
Stroke Franklin Shew
Zerek Olson
Stephen Huber
Harrison Foley
Gage Butler
Peter Faber
Eric Towe
Bow Karl Troyer

Sixth Varsity 8 
Cox Tiffany Johnstone
Stroke Ben Johnson
Caleb Buckley
Victor Sands
Dan Anthony
Josh Lee
Ben Nolt
Zane Wilson
Bow Michael Murphy

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