June 3, 2009
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy men's heavyweight and men's lightweight crew teams will draw an end to their seasons this week when they take part in the 107th-annual IRA National Championship on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif. The men's heavyweight team will compete this Thursday through Saturday, while the men's lightweight squad will take to the water on Saturday.
The men's heavyweight crew team will begin its action on Thursday at 8:15 a.m. with the varsity eight opening-round heat. The top-two boats of the heat will advance to the championship semifinal on Friday at 11:45 a.m., while the remaining crews will take part in the repechage races later in the day on Thursday at 2 p.m. The winner of the repechage race will advance to the championship semifinal on Friday, while the rest of the boats will compete in the consolation semifinal on Friday at 12:15 p.m.
The Midshipmen come into this week's action seeded 13th overall and will row against fourth-seeded Wisconsin, fifth-seeded Washington, 12th-seeded George Washington, 20th-seeded UC-San Diego and 21st-seeded Holy Cross in their opening race. Navy defeated Holy Cross by a minimum of eight seconds in both meetings earlier this season and split its two races against George Washington. The Mids defeated the Colonials on the Potomac River by 0.3-second on April 11, but were edged by 1.147 seconds in the petite final of the Eastern Sprints Championship on May 10. Navy has not previously faced Wisconsin, Washington and UC-San Diego this year.
Last year, Navy's varsity eight boat recovered from a third-place time in its heat to win its repechage race to bounce back to the championship semifinal, where it placed fourth before finishing sixth in the petite final to land in 12th place overall.
Navy's heavyweight freshmen eight boat will take part in its opening round heat at 9:36 a.m. The first-place crew will automatically advance to Saturday's grand final, while the rest will return to action on Friday at 9:36 a.m. for the repechage races. The Midshipmen come into their heat seeded 10th and will compete against third-seeded Harvard, fourth-seeded California, ninth-seeded Syracuse, 15th-seeded Oregon State and 16th-seeded Gonzaga.
The fourth-ranked Navy lightweight varsity eight crew will take to the water on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. for the grand final against No. 1 Princeton, No. 2 Harvard, No. 3 Georgetown, No. 5 Yale, No. 6 Cornell and No. 7 Columbia. The Midshipmen have rowed against each team at least twice this year and have come away with at least one victory against all those teams, except for Princeton and Harvard. During the regular season, Princeton nipped the Mids by only 3.3 seconds on Lake Carnegie and Harvard defeated Navy by less than a second on the Charles River.
Last year, the Midshipmen placed second in their heat to earn a spot in the grand final, where they finished less than two seconds behind Cornell's winning time to finish second overall.
In addition, members from the Navy heavyweight and lightweight crew teams will combine their forces in the open four competition this week, beginning with its heat on Thursday morning 10:24 a.m. The heat winner will advance to the grand final on Saturday, while the rest of the crews will participate in the repechage races on Saturday at 9:36 a.m.
Additional information on this year's IRA National Championship can be found by clicking here.
NAVY'S IRA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Note: All times local (Pacific Time)
Thursday, June 4
8:15 a.m. - Varsity Eight Heat (top two to Championship Semifinals, rest to Thursday's Repechages)
9:36 a.m. - Freshmen Eight Heat (top one to final, rest to Friday's Repechages)
10:24 a.m. - Open Four Heat (top 1 to final, rest to Friday's Repechages)
2:00-2:45 p.m. - Varsity Eight Repechages (top one to Championship Semifinals, rest to Consolation Semifinals)
Friday, June 5
8:24 a.m. - Open Four Repechages (top two to Grand Final, rest to Petite Final)
9:36 a.m. - Freshmen Eight Repechages (top one to Grand Final, next two to Petite Final, rest to Third Level Final)
11:45 a.m. - Varsity Eight Championship Semifinals (top three to Grand Final, rest to Petite Final)
12:15 p.m. - Varsity Eight Consolation Semifinals (top three to Third Level Final, rest to Fourth Level Final)
Saturday, June 6
8:24 a.m. - Freshmen Eight Third Level Final
8:48 a.m. - Open Four Petite Final
9:00 a.m. - Open Four Grand Final
9:45 a.m. - Freshmen Eight Petite Final
10:00 a.m. - Freshmen Eight Grand Final
11:15 a.m. - Varsity Eight Fourth Level Final
11:30 a.m. - Lightweight Varsity Eight Grand Final
11:45 a.m. - Varsity Eight Third Level Final
12:00 p.m. - Varsity Eight Petite Final
12:15 p.m. - Varsity Eight Grand Final