June 2, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -
The Navy heavyweight rowing team placed ninth at the IRA National Championships, completing the three-day regatta on Sunday in Sacramento, Calif. The varsity eight crew placed ninth as well, which was one spot ahead of last year's finish. Navy's ninth-place team finish is its best since taking fifth in 2005.
"Overall, I thought we were pretty solid," said Navy head coach Rob Friedrich. "Our goal is to obviously be in the grand finals, but we can't complain. I'm proud of the guys."
In the varsity eight petite final, Navy and Stanford both got out to strong starts on Lake Natoma as they led the field through the first 500 meters. Stanford led with 500 meters to go, but couldn't hold off a hard-charging Yale crew, which won the race with a time of 5:46. Stanford placed second at 5:48 while Navy and Wisconsin battled for third. The Mids just beat the Badgers across the line, 5:51.21-5:51.8.
"It was a really tough race," said Friedrich. "The guys poured their hearts out. Wisconsin came on at the end, but we finished really strong."
After falling to the third level final, the second varsity responded with its best effort of the season. The Mids' second varsity eight won the third final with a blazing time of 6:00 - 5 seconds ahead of second-place Dartmouth.
"They had their best race of the season in winning by open water," said Friedrich. "It was a great race and I give them a lot of credit. There are a lot of younger guys in that boat that will be back next season."
The only Navy crew to compete in a grand final on Sunday was the open four. With Washington, Northeastern and Cal out front, Navy, Brown and Oregon State battled for the next three spots. After Brown and Navy were even at the midway point, the Bears overtook the Mids in the next 500 meters. The Mids placed fifth with a time of 6:47 - 2 seconds ahead of sixth-place Oregon State.
"The fact that the open four crew was in the grand final says a lot and is a credit to how hard everyone in that boat worked all season. They raced very well today," said Friedrich.
The varsity four took third in the petite final. The Mids were in fourth place at the halfway point, but overtook Colgate with 500 meters to go and placed third with a time of 6:44. Colgate finished with a time 6:46 while Florida Institute of Technology won the race with a time of 6:40.
The Mids' freshman eight had a strong start in the petite final as it stayed out front along with Wisconsin for the first three quarters. However, the Badgers got a strong push over the final 500 meters and went on to beat the Mids by 2 seconds, finishing with a time of 6:06.
"It was a disappointing finish for the freshmen, but we're really excited about next year and how they have developed this season," said Friedrich.
Varsity Eight - Petite Final (9th overall)
1. Yale - 5:46
2. Stanford - 5:48
3. Navy - 5:51.21
4. Wisconsin - 5:51.8
5. Cornell - 5:52.1
6. Boston University - 5:52.82
Second Varsity Eight - Third Final (13th overall)
1. Navy - 6:00
2. Dartmouth - 6:05.28
3. Oregon State - 6:05.71
4. Stanford - 6:07
5. Holy Cross - 6:08
6. Gonzaga - 6:16
7. UCSD - 6:16
Freshman Eight - Petite Final (8th overall)
1. Wisconsin - 6:06
2. Navy - 6:08
3. Princeton - 6:12.04
4. George Washington - 6:12.8
5. Dartmouth -6:13
6. Drexel - 6:14
Open Four - Grand Final (5th overall)
1. Washington - 6:30
2. Northeastern - 6:32
3. California - 6:35
4. Brown - 6:38
5. Navy - 6:47
6. Oregon State - 6:49
Varsity Four - Petite Final (9th overall)
1. Florida Institute of Technology - 6:40
2. Yale - 6:42
3. Navy - 6:44
4. Colgate - 6:46
5. Penn - 6:49
6. Syracuse - 6:51