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PHILADELPHIA - The heavyweight rowing team concluded its trip to the 2011 IRA Championships on Saturday with the varsity eight finishing 16th overall out of 18 teams and the Penn contingent finishing 14th in points out of the 18 crews in action on the Cooper River.
The varsity eight matched its result from 2010 with the 16th place finish overall and a fourth place result in the Third Final. The Quakers crossed the line in the Third Final in a time of 5:52.877, behind first-place Boston University, runner-up Dartmouth and third-place Columbia. The Red and Blue were well ahead of the rest of the field, finishing 10 seconds ahead of Gonzaga and 12.2 seconds ahead of UC-San Diego. The Washington Huskies were the champion of the Varsity Eight, winning the Grand Final in a time of 5:30.623.
The second varsity finished 11th overall and fifth in the Petite Final. The Quakers crossed in 5:53.261, just .395 behind fourth-place finisher Boston University. The finish was intense as the Quakers were simultaneously attempting to catch the Terriers while holding off Navy. In the end, while Penn couldn't pass B.U. the Red and Blue did stave off the Midshipmen by .521.
The freshman eight were fourth in the Third Final and 16th overall in a time of 6:02.392, outdistancing fifth-place Gonzaga by 5.211 seconds.
The open four won the Petite Final race, needing 6:45.645 to navigate the course. The finish was an extremely close one as the Quakers needed all of that 6:45.645 to beat Brown to the line as the Bears crossed in 6:45.969, just .324 behind the Red and Blue. California was third in 6:51.861. The varsity four was sixth in the Third Final of seven in 6:52.896, finishing 6.269 ahead of Dartmouth.
Washington claimed the Ten Eyck Award as the overall champion with 195 points. The Quakers were 14th with 48 points, a six-point improvement from the 2010 IRA Championships. The Red and Blue were one of eight teams to improve their point total from 2010 to the 2011 regatta, and the six-point improvement was seventh-best and ranked the Quakers seventh in the race for the Chapman Award for biggest team improvement from one IRA to the next. Wisconsin won the Chapman with an improvement of 43 points from 2010 to 2011.