WORCESTER, Mass. - With a win in the petite final at EARC Sprints on Lake Quinsigamond on Sunday, the University of Pennyslvania lightweights advanced to the IRA national championships in head coach Colin Farrell's first season at the helm of the Quakers. The varsity finished seventh overall, while the third varsity reached the Grand Final and finished sixth.
The varsity finished fourth in its morning heat with a time of 5:45.229. Penn just missed out on the Grand Final as M.I.T. edged the Red and Blue by eight-tenths of a second. That pushed the Quakers into the petite final with Navy, Dartmouth and Georgetown. The Red and Blue earned a berth in the national championship regatta with a two-second win over Navy. Penn's winning time of 5:51.654 was just a few seats better than the Midshipmen, about a length in front of the Big Green and open water ahead of Georgetown.
The Quakers are heading to the national championships for the second time in three years -- the program's best stretch since a three-year run from 2005-07.
The third varsity represented the Quakers in the Grand Final after a third-place finish in its heat. Penn topped Columbia and Georgetown with a time of 5:57.375 to advance to the Grand Final. The Red and Blue then finished sixth with a time of 6:05.669.
The second varsity finished eighth overall. The crew was fifth in its heat at 6:04.902 and then came in third in the petite final at 6:11.984.
The fourth varsity and the fours each finished sixth in their respective Grand Finals. The fourth varsity finished with a time of 6:35.484, while the fours competed against several heavyweight boats and clocked out at 7:37.200.
The IRA regatta is set for Sunday, May 31 on Mercer Lake in New Jersey.