Heavyweights Ready for IRA Regatta Weekend

IRA Regatta Schedule | IRA Regatta Results | Penn's History at IRAs

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PHILADELPHIA – Few teams at Penn put in more hours in a season than the heavyweight rowing team, competition spanning six months and starting with preseason in the fall and finishing as the calendar turns to June with a chance at a national championship. The Quakers, ranked No. 13 in the Varsity Eight, will look to finish strong at the IRA Championships Regatta May 31-June 2 on Lake Natoma in Sacramento, Calif.

Last season, the Red and Blue were fifth in the Petite Final at IRAs – a race where all six boats were separated by less than five seconds – to finish 11th in the Varsity Eight. That result was Penn’s best since a ninth-place showing in 2001. Seeded No. 13 out of 23 boats, the Quakers will have to contend with No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Northeastern, No. 12 Wisconsin, No. 20 Holy Cross and No. 21 George Washington in its heat on Friday. There are two automatic spots to the semifinals on the line in the heats, the remaining boats head to repechages to row for semifinal spots.

The Second Varsity – seeded 12th out of 19 boats – was 12th last year, sixth in the Petite Final. The 2V is progressing nicely at this stage of the season, finishing fourth in the Petite Final at Sprints to claim 10th overall. No. 4 Princeton, No. 5 Harvard and No. 13 Stanford all await the Quakers in their heat. As in the varsity eight, top two will move on to the semis, the second pair will row in reps.

Penn’s freshman eight is seeded No. 7 overall out of 13 boats, and will be the third-highest seed in its heat with No. 1 Washington and No. 6 Wisconsin. No. 12 George Washington and No. 13 Dartmouth round out the heat’s lineup. A third place finish in the heat, however, will be enough for an automatic spot in the semifinals.

The Red and Blue also have entries in the Varsity Four and Open Four. The V4+ will open in a heat with Gonzaga, Navy, Syracuse, Colgate and FIT. Top two move on to the semis. The O4+ will row in a heat with Wisconsin, Northeastern and Syracuse. Top three earn a spot in the semifinals, while the fourth place finisher moves to a repechage.

First contested in 1895, the IRA Regatta has long been the national championship race for men’s heavyweight rowing programs. The Quakers have won nine IRA Regatta championships, last doing so in 1992. Washington is the defending champion, winners of two in a row and three of the last five.

IRA Friday Schedule (Times PST)
8:45 a.m. – Varsity Eight (Heat #4)
9:30 a.m. – Second Varsity Eight (Heat #3)
10:00 a.m. – Freshmen Eight (Heat #1)
11:15 a.m. – Varsity Fours (Heat #3)
12:00 p.m. – Open Fours (Heat #2)

Preliminary Boatings for IRAs
Varsity Eight
Cox: Louis Lombardi
Stroke: Matthew McPeak
7. John McCluskey
6. Harry Holroyd
5. Daren Frankel
4. Mitchell Stein
3. James Senese
2. Matthew Jackson
Bow: Kenny Nickens

Second Varsity Eight
Cox: Eric Kim
Stroke: Jeff Schimmel
7: Robert Wallace
6: Matt Slodden
5: Joe Simon
4: Dara Alizadeh
3: Keith Rush
2: Colin Kane
Bow: Jon Hennessy

Frosh Eight
Cox: Jacob Mendelson
Stroke: Richard Censits
7. Alexander Buck
6. Jared Levin
5. Conor Davenport
4. Chris Matyjek
3. Daniel Kraft
2. Kevin McHale
Bow: Alex Brown

Varsity Four
Cox: Jonathan Reis
Stroke: Alex Schade
3. Zachary Bandes
2. Peter St. Michael
Bow: Matthew Wagener

Open Fours
Cox: Joe Anzur
Stroke: Ted Brochu
3. Alexander Weeks
2. Joseph Mack
Bow: Diego Fiori