Heavyweights Send Four Boats to IRA Semis

Day One Results | Day One Splits | Day Two Lane Assignments

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – After a busy day on Lake Natoma, four Penn boats are still alive in the semifinals of the 2013 IRA Regatta, an improvement from two boats in the semifinals last year at the national championships.

Unfortunately, the one boat which did not qualify for the final 12 was the Varsity Eight. Seeded No. 13 overall, the Quakers were drawn into arguably the toughest first-round heat race, matched up with No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Northeastern and No. 12 Wisconsin. With only two crews advancing automatically to the semis, the Red and Blue needed to move past two boats over the 2000m course. After the first thousand, the V8 was third, 2.1 seconds behind Stanford. The next 500m saw Wisconsin rally and the Quakers finished fourth.

The afternoon’s repechage race in the varsity eight was the definition of “luck of the draw”. Or maybe in Penn’s case, the unfortunate way things can shake out. The repechages were “Must-Win” with only the boat which crossed first moving on to the semifinals on Saturday. The Quakers found themselves in a race with No. 9 seed Boston University and the two crews put on a show. With stakes as high as they could be during Friday’s racing, the two boats split who was fastest over the four 500-meter intervals, never separated by more than 2.7 seconds. The Terriers had the lead the entire time, pulling away in the third 500 after Penn had closed to within 1.1 seconds in the second 500. The final margin of victory for B.U. was 2.506 seconds, the Terriers crossing in 5:54.300 and Penn second in 5:56.806.

Both crews were putting it all out there, knowing they were in the toughest rep to navigate. If you needed any further example that those times in a second race of the day were extraordinary, Penn’s second-place time would have won the other three repechage races and 5.276 seconds ahead of the next closest time of any other boat in the reps – Cornell’s 6:02.529.

The second-place result in the repechage sends Penn to the C/D semifinals on Saturday, rowing for lanes in Sunday’s Third Final.

Penn’s No. 7 Freshmen Eight did not need a repechage in its advancement to Saturday’s semifinals, claiming one of three automatic spots from its heat in a finishing time of 6:05.415. That time was second to No. 1 seed Washington which finished in 5:58.002, but just ahead of No. 6 Wisconsin which was third in 6:05.981. Last year, the frosh were 15th after a third place result in the Petite Final. This year, they will finish no lower than 12th – set for Penn’s best finish since the Quakers took third in 2006.

Again set in arguably the toughest heat race, the Second Varsity – seeded No. 12 – was third to No. 4 Princeton and No. 5 Harvard, but 4.2 seconds clear of No. 13 Stanford. In the afternoon, the 2V did what was needed to advance, stroking out to first place in the opening 500m and despite a late push from No. 9 Cornell to the front, the Quakers were 4.764 seconds ahead of third-place Oregon State to take the second automatic spot in the semifinals.

The Varsity Four was third after 500m, just 1.5 seconds off of second, but down the stretch were overtaken in its heat race for fourth place, 0.513 seconds off of third place Navy. In its repechage race, the Red and Blue needed to finish first or second to move on to Saturday’s semifinals. It was a “no-doubter” for the Quakers who led wire to wire, pushing out to a 2.37-second lead after the first 500 on Northeastern and using a strong third 500 to re-establish its wide cushion en route to a 3.659 win over the Huskies to move on to Saturday’s semis.

The Open Four is also in the semis after a win in the reps. With three of four boats in the rep moving on to the semis, Penn needed to just avoid anything dangerous, and the Quakers did so in dominant fashion. The Red and Blue stroked out to a 4.78-second lead after the opening 500m, and extended that lead to 7.64 seconds after the 1500-meter mark. From there, the Quakers could conserve for Saturday and won the race by 4.63 seconds over Gonzaga, Holy Cross and Dartmouth who were all separated by 1.19 seconds.

Saturday’s Schedule (All Times PST)
9:00 a.m. – Open Fours Semifinal #2
9:15 a.m. – Varsity Fours Semifinal #1
10:45 a.m. – Frosh Eights Semifinal #2
11:00 a.m. – Second Varsity Eight Semifinal #1
12:00 p.m. – Varsity Eight C/D Semifinal #1

Varsity Eight
Heat #4
1. Northeastern 5:47.510
2. Stanford 5:51.025
3. Wisconsin 5:52.032
4. Pennsylvania 5:56.543
5. Holy Cross 6:05.391
6. George Washington 6:16.643

Repechage #3
1. BU 5:54.300
2. Pennsylvania 5:56.806
3. FIT 6:03.204
4. UCSD 6:16.049

Second Varsity Eight
Heat #3
1. Princeton 5:58.454
2. Harvard 6:04.823
3. Pennsylvania 6:08.442
4. Stanford 6:12.658

Repechage #1
1. Cornell 6:08.930
2. Pennsylvania 6:12.301
3. Oregon State 6:17.137
4. Navy 6:17.741
5. Holy Cross 6:21.111

Frosh Eight
Heat #1
1. Washington 5:58.002
2. Pennsylvania 6:05.415
3. Wisconsin 6:05.981
4. George Washington 6:22.881
5. Dartmouth 6:34.696

Varsity Fours
1. FIT 6:41.973
2. Colgate 6:49.484
3. Navy 6:53.748
4. Pennsylvania 6:54.361
5. Syracuse 7:00.568
6. Gonzaga 7:11.707

Repechage #2
1. Pennsylvania 6:51.353
2. Northeastern 6:55.012
3. Georgetown 7:05.922

Open Fours
1. Northeastern 6:50.374
2. Wisconsin 6:57.708
3. Syracuse 7:03.961
4. Pennsylvania 7:10.202

Repechage #1
1. Pennsylvania 7:01.075
2. Gonzaga 7:05.708
3. Holy Cross 7:05.954
4. Dartmouth 7:06.897