Lightweights Advance to IRA National Championships

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WORCESTER, Mass. – The University of Pennsylvania is heading back to the IRA national championships for the second-straight year following an outstanding day on Lake Quinsigamond at the EARC Sprints on Sunday.

The varsity finished in fifth place in a tightly contested race in the Grand Final where the Quakers crossed the finish line in 5:49.423 amid difficult conditions featuring strong crosswinds. The Red and Blue were in medal contention through 1k and stayed tight with the leaders throughout the race and finished strong to secure their spot at IRAs.

Yale earned gold in the Grand Final while Columbia and Princeton rounded out the podium finishes in second and third. Cornell was fourth and Navy finished sixth.

“The varsity boat raced really hard in the final, and they did a nice job in their heat to get into the grand final in really tough conditions,” said head coach Colin Farrell. “They stuck their noses out and left it all out on the course which is everything we can ask of them. Now our next step is to find some more speed in the next couple of weeks before IRAs.”

The Quakers fifth-place performance today marked the best finish by a varsity boat since 1993 when they also placed fifth at EARC’s. Additionally, Penn is heading to the national championships for the third time in four years which matches the program’s best stretch dating back to a three-year run from 2005-07. It’s also the first back-to-back appearance for the Red and Blue at IRA’s since 2006-07.

Penn secured their spot in the Grand Final with a third place showing in the first heat leading up to the championship race. The Quakers finished behind Yale and Cornell in the prelims.

Also racing at the IRA will be members of the 2V boat who will split up to race two fours in Mercer Lake, N.J. in just a few short weeks. The JV will row at the IRA in the 4- and 4+ after concluding today’s regatta besting Georgetown, Dartmouth and MIT in the Petite Final in a time of 5:57.971.

The Quakers 3V and 4V members also competed in the Grand Finals of their respective classes and earned sixth-place finishes on Lake Quinsigamond. Penn’s third varsity finished in third place in heat two before they made their way to the Grand Final later in the afternoon where they clocked a time of 6:17.374. Fourth varsity also placed sixth in their Grand Final with a time of 6:43.255.

Penn will return to action for the IRA national championship regatta on Thursday, June 2nd at Mercer Lake, N.J.

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Download: Boatings - 5_16_16 EARC Sprints.pdf