May 30, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The Navy heavyweight rowing team has traveled to Sacramento, Calif., for the 111th IRA National Championships that will begin on Friday with heat races and run though Sunday. Lake Natoma will be the site of this year's regatta, which will feature the best rowing teams in the nation.
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Navy enters with its varsity eight crew seeded 10th, its second varsity seeded 14th and its freshman boat seeded eighth. Friday's races will mark the Mids' first action since taking eighth overall at the Eastern Sprints on May 19.
"It's always busy training for the IRA with commissioning week going on," said Navy head coach Rob Friedrich. "I think we've had a better training camp here for the IRA than we have had in years past. The guys are excited to go to California to show what they have."
The varsity eight had a strong finish at the Eastern Sprints in winning the petite final. The Mids never trailed in the race.
"We're really building off the momentum of that race and we have gained some speed since then," said Friedrich. "Now we're hoping for a better finish at the IRAs than we had a year ago."
Last season, Navy placed all five of its crews in the top 10, placing 10th in the overall standings. The varsity placed 10th, which was its second top-10 finish since 2010.
The IRA Championships consists of heats, repechages, semifinals and finals. In the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four trial heats, the two fastest crews from each heat advance to the semifinal races. The top three crews in the freshman eight and open four heats advance to the semifinals.
The boats that do not advance to the semifinals from their trial heats drop to a repechage race, where they will look to gain entry back into the semifinals.
Navy's varsity eight crew enters this weekend with a record of 7-3. The Mids' top crew went 3-0 at the George Washington Invitational, helping the team to its third consecutive event title.