June 2, 2012
CAMDEN, N.J. - The Navy lightweight rowing team's varsity four crew took home the title at the IRA National Championships on Saturday in Camden, N.J. Competing on the Cooper River, the Navy boat posted a perfect day as it won its morning trial heat and then took the grand final race by over :02.
"It was a very good race," said Navy head coach Steve Perry. "We're certainly appreciative to the IRA to have the opportunity to represent the Naval Academy today. I'm really happy with our performance - it was a great row. It was great to be a part of such a wonderful event."
The win marked the first gold medal for Navy in the varsity four at the IRA National Championships since 2007.
Navy took the lead off the start in the grand final and held it all the way through the finish. Cornell made several pushes to try and catch the Mids, but to no avail. Navy won with a time of 6:18.126, while Cornell posted a 6:20.519.
Navy easily won its morning trial heat, defeating second-place Harvard by nearly :04 with a time of 6:31.934. Navy led early and maintained its advantage throughout the race. At the 1,000-meter mark, the Mids led by a half length of open water over MIT. Harvard had moved through MIT in the final 200 meters, but never threatened to overtake the Mids for the top spot.
Navy's crew was made up of Matt Harms, James Laughridge, Seamus Fish, J.C. Russell, Austin Bentley.
VL4, Grand Final (First overall)
1 Navy, 6:18.126
2 Cornell, 6:20.519
3 Wisconsin, 6:21.931
4 Yale, 6:25.215
5 Harvard, 6:25.759
6 MIT, 6:28.804
1 Navy, 6:31.934
3 MIT, 6:39.572
4 Milwaukee S of E, 6:46.198