Heavyweight Rowing Ranked No. 11 Heading into IRAs

PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania heavyweight rowing team heads to the 2015 Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championship regatta this weekend, sending five boats to Lake Mercer in New Jersey to compete for national titles.

Penn’s Varsity Eight is ranked No. 11 overall in the country heading into the final regatta of 2015, and the Quakers are seeded No. 11 among the 24 varsity crews entered this weekend. The last time the Quakers finished inside the Top-10 at IRAs was in 2001 when the Red and Blue were ninth. Since then, an 11th place finish in 2012 has been Penn’s best result.

In Friday’s opening heats, Penn is slated to row in Heat 3 at 8:30 a.m., occupying Lane 2. The Quakers will need a top-two finish in their heat to automatically move on to the semifinals. The Red and Blue were second to Yale in the Blackwell Cup earlier this season, and Yale is coming off a win at Sprints two weeks ago. Brown was fourth at Sprints, coming up short in a three-crew chase for second place. Overall among entered crews, Yale is the No. 3 seed and Brown is No. 6. Stanford enters as the No. 14 seed, while Syracuse (No. 19) and George Washington (No. 22) round out Penn’s competition in the heats.

For the Second Varsity, action will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Friday in its heat with Penn entering as the No. 11 overall seed. No. 3 Princeton and No. 6 Brown will be the primary competition for the Quakers for a spot in the semifinals, with No. 14 Columbia in the mix as well. Two weeks ago at Sprints, Penn’s 2V was one spot behind Brown in the opening heats, but finished almost five seconds ahead of Columbia in the Petite Final. Princeton’s 2V was the Sprints champion.

The Quaker 3V is seeded No. 14 overall and will race at 10:24 a.m. in its heat against No. 3 Princeton, No. 6 Yale, No. 11 Wisconsin and No. 19 Hobart. The Tigers are coming off a win in the Third Varsity at Sprints, while Yale was fourth and Wisconsin ninth.

Arguably the boat with the most momentum of Penn’s contingent is the Frosh Eight. Two weeks ago, the freshmen crew medaled at Sprints for the first time since 2006 with a third place row. This weekend, the Red and Blue are seeded No. 4 among the nine crews entered, and are within striking distance of Penn’s first medals at IRAs since the Frosh Eight won bronze in 2006. In its heat on Friday at 10:48, Penn will line up against No. 1 Washington, No. 5 Cornell, No. 8 Drexel and No. 9 Dartmouth.

Penn will row a Varsity Four this weekend, and that crew will compete in its heat at 11:12 on Friday. The Quakers will be matched up with California, Dartmouth, Harvard and Wisconsin in their first race.

Varsity Eight
Cox: Louis Lombardi

Stroke: Dara Alizadeh
7. Joseph Simon
6. Kevin McHale
5. Richard Censits
4. Matt Slodden
3. Matthew Wagener
2. Harry Holroyd
Bow: Robert Wallace

Second Varsity
Cox: Jacob Mendelson

Stroke: Conor Davenport
7. Jonathan Hennessy
6. Chris Matyjek
5. Peter St. Michael
4. Zachary Bandes
3. Alexander Buck
2. Kevin Kelly
Bow: Joseph Mack

Cox: Lauren Hochman
Stroke: Diego Fiori
7. Jeremy Wright
6. Eliot Bok
5. Daniel Kennedy-Moore
4. Chet Heldman
3. Harrison Thayer
2. Jakub Dziedzic
Bow: Sean O'Dowd

Cox: Michael Dudum
Stroke: Henry Rogers
7. Joel Kagan
6. Roel Van Broekhuizen
5. Matt Kreps
4. Mihir Dehkne
3. Ethan Stinner
2. David Loungani
Bow: Torin DiSalvo

Cox: Eric Lu
Stroke: Frederick LaViolette
3. Sean Hartman
2. Sam Altland
Bow: Leonard Kaminski