Lightweights Earn 4th at IRA National Championship

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WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – The University of Pennsylvania lightweights captured a fourth-place finish – their highest since 2005 – to cap an outstanding IRA National Championship regatta on Sunday morning in West Windsor, N.J.

Following three days of racing which began with heats on Friday morning, the Quakers finished the 2016 season with their highest placement in over a decade and also earned their first back-to-back grand final appearances for the first time since the 1996-97 seasons.

The Quakers stopped the clock for fourth place in 6:00.330, less than two seconds behind a third place podium finish. Columbia claimed gold, crossing the finish line in 5:52.060 and besting Yale and Princeton for second and third place, respectively. Rounding out the order of finish in fifth place was Cornell (6:02.580) and Harvard in sixth (6:05.400).

“The guys in all three boats all raced really hard and really well,” said head coach Colin Farrell following the races. “In every boat we were better than last year and that’s a big achievement – all the work we put in this year was productive and the team is going in the right direction. At the same time, for any athlete, fourth place in unsatisfying and we definitely want to improve upon what we did today when we return next year.”

The Quakers made their way to the grand final with a second place finish in the first of two heats on Friday morning. The Red and Blue stopped the clock at 5:56.00 - less than a second behind Yale - who came in first in 5:55.03. Cornell was third in the heat to join the Quakers and Bulldogs in the grand final while Mercyhurst placed fourth. The top three – Yale, Penn, and Cornell – all finished within one second of each other to earn the top three slots.

Advancing out of the second heat to make up the grand final was Columbia, Princeton, and Harvard.

The Quakers had two other boats in action over the weekend that also concluded racing on Sunday. In the lightweight four without coxswain, the Red and Blue also claimed a fourth-place finish in 6:30.830, earning a spot in the grand final after placing second in their heat on Friday. Cornell was first to cross the finish line (6:24.580) while Princeton, Harvard, Penn, Columbia, and Navy rounded out the order of finish.

In the lightweight four with coxswain, the Red and Blue claimed bronze in the petite final to finish ninth overall in 6:55.900.

Sunday’s racing concluded a terrific 2015-16 season for the Penn lightweights which included their third appearance in four seasons at the IRA National Championships. The lightweights also defended the Callow Cup from Navy to post back-to-back wins for the first time since 1999-2000 during the cup season.

Men’s VL8 Grand Final
1. Columbia – 5:52.060
2. Yale – 5:54.460
3. Princeton – 5:58.590
4. Penn – 6:00.330
5. Cornell – 6:02.580
6. Harvard – 6:05.400

Men’s VL4 Petite Final
1. Harvard – 6:50.700
2. Cornell – 6:54.010
3. Penn – 6:55.900
4. Temple – 7:04.160

Men’s VL4- Grand Final
1. Cornell – 6:24.580
2. Princeton – 6:26.570
3. Harvard – 6:27.660
4. Penn – 6:30.830
5. Columbia – 6:37.620
6. Navy – 6:38.890

Download: Boatings - 6_3_16 IRA National Championship.pdf