Varsity Eight To Semifinals at IRA; Joined by Second Varsity

IRA Results

Survive and advance. That is the mantra of any team as they enter a tournament setting, and for Penn's heavyweight rowing team, the first day of the 2012 IRA Championships saw plenty of both as the Quakers rowed their way to the semifinals in both the varsity eight and second varsity eight following a busy day of action on the Cooper River.

The varsity eight started its day with a fourth-place finish in its heat, just reaching the finish line ahead of Yale by .173 seconds. The Quakers had set Yale as a benchmark in the race, erasing a 9.1-second defeat in the Blackwell Cup earlier this season and a 1.6-second defeat at EARC Sprints to get the position when it mattered most. In the afternoon, the Quakers needed a top-three finish in the repechage to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2006, and did so with a clean finish of third, outdistancing George Washington by 3.2 seconds for the advancing position. Penn was called upon to navigate an extremely fast repechage, with the top three teams in Penn's rep all finishing ahead of the first-place team in the other rep.

The No. 14-seeded Red and Blue will launch in its first IRA semifinal since the '06 regatta on Friday at 12:15 p.m., with No. 2 seed Brown and No. 3 seed Harvard in the semi along with No. 6 Princeton, No. 8 Syracuse and No. 13 Cornell. The Quakers are guaranteed at least a 12th-place finish - something the Red and Blue have accomplished just twice in the last 10 IRAs.

The Quakers are showing the country that they are starting to put together the depth needed to be a player on the national stage with the second varsity also earning a starting spot in Friday's semifinals. After a fourth-place finish to start the regatta in the heats, Penn regrouped in the afternoon to take third in its rep, clearing fourth-place Yale by 4.4 seconds to advance.
The Quakers' 2V is back in the semifinals for the third time in four seasons and looking to improve upon its 11th-place finish from 2011.

Penn's novice eight will row in the Third Final after failing to advance to the semis out of its repechage. The freshmen were fifth in their heat to start the day, and replicated that finish in the reps. Penn will be the third seed in Saturday's Third Final. The open four did not secure the top spot in its heat - California took care of that, but four spots in the Grand Final are up for grabs in tomorrow's repechages. Penn will row against Drexel, Harvard, Cornell and Brown to move on to the championship race.

Friday's action begins at 8:30 a.m. and Penn's first race is set for the open four repechage at 9:45 a.m.

Varsity Eight
Heat (Heat #1)
1. Brown 5:48.143
2. Wisconsin 5:50.820
3. Syracuse 5:54.645
4. PENN 5:56.763
5. Yale 5:56.936
6. Gonzaga 6:17.963

Repechage (Rep #2)
1. Cornell 5:33.80
2. Navy 5:34.195
3. PENN 5:36.093
4. George Washington 5:39.293
5. Dartmouth 5:41.817
6. Gonzaga 5:53.011

Second Varsity Eight
Heat (Heat #2)
1. Wisconsin 5:53.802
2. Princeton 5:55.429
3. Cornell 5:56.669
4. PENN 6:19.129
5. Dartmouth 6:34.665

Repechage (Rep #1)
1. Navy 5:41.681
2. Syracuse 5:42.703
3. PENN 5:49.609
4. Yale 5:54.089
5. Gonzaga 6:13.125

Frosh/Novice Eights
Heat (Heat #3)
1. Cornell 5:56.437
2. Harvard 5:56.444
3. Dartmouth 6:11.127
4. Navy 6:15.194
5. PENN 6:18.573
6. Drexel 6:26.641

Repechage (Rep #2)
1. Boston University 5:51.175
2. Yale 5:52.278
3. Dartmouth 5:53.874
4. Stanford 5:54.229
5. PENN 6:00.128
6. George Washington 6:21.386

Open Four+
Heats (Heat #1)
1. California 6:32.792
2. Cornell 6:38.919
3. Northeastern 6:39.556
4. Syracuse 6:50.513
5. PENN 6:52.529
6. Drexel 6:58.317