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PHILADELPHIA - A berth in the national championships is on the line this weekend for the University of Pennsylvania lightweight rowing team as they head to the EARC Sprints in Worcester, Mass., on Sunday. The top seven boats will qualify for the IRA Championships.

The Quakers will start the day in the Open 4 Grand Final at 8:24 a.m. The freshmen will be the next to take the water as they'll face Harvard, Princeton, M.I.T. and Dartmouth in their heat at 9:24 a.m. The second varsity faces Georgetown and a trio of Ivies at 10:12 a.m., while the varsity faces Harvad, Princeton, Yale and Navy at 11:48 a.m.

In their final tune-up prior to the 2012 EARC Sprints, the Quakers topped M.I.T. in the varsity 8 race to cap the careers of Penn's senior class. On a chilly Senior Day on the Schuylkill River, Penn had two boats in the varsity 8 race that finished ahead of M.I.T. Penn's freshman boat had similar success as it edged out a win by a little more than a second at 6:21.9.

At this event last year, the Quakers' varsity finished fifth in their heat with a time of 5:59.12. That sent them to the Petite Final where they would have had to win the race to qualify for the IRA Championships for the second straight year. But Columbia and Georgetown pulled away for an open water victory and the Red and Blue finished third with a time of 5:57.807. The second varsity finished fourth in their heat, but in the Petite Final, the Quakers took first-place going away. The freshmen finished third at 6:20.025 to qualify for the Grand Final where they topped Dartmouth and placed fifth with a time of 6:20.537.

A full recap of the regatta can be found at PennAthletics.com following the conclusion of the day's events.

Tentative Boatings

Varsity 8
Cox - Dominic Nucci
Stroke - Zack Seigel
7 - Mike Fisher
6 - Sam Shaw
5 - Hurst Nuckols
4 - Oliver Hurd
3 - Adam Funk
2 - Andrew McGrath
Bow - James Shovlin

Second Varsity 8
Cox - Amy Beauchamp
Stroke - Jamie Napoli
7 - Mark Gannon
6 - Nico Mihalich
5 - Sam Shepherd
4 - Eric Sezgen
3 - Alec McGinley
2 - TJ Smith
Bow - Alan Chan

Freshman 8
Cox - Carlo Calcagni
Stroke - Jacque David
7 - Adam Miller
6 - Dan Schwarz
5 - Parker Lange
4 - Matt Lisle
3 - Mark Dignam
2 - Alex Cosio
Bow - Emmet Ogiony

Third Varsity 4+
Cox - Josh Dembowitz
4 - Charles Shoener
3 - Sean Travers
2 - George Callis
Bow - Ben McGuire


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