CAMDEN, N.J. – The 110th IRA National Championships were in full swing Thursday as the Yale heavyweight crew team raced in heats and reps on the Cooper River. None of Yale's crews was able to advance directly from the morning's heats, but some strong performances in the reps kept the Bulldogs moving forward. The Yale varsity eight delivered a strong sprint in the rep to move on to Friday's semifinal. Likewise the Yale freshmen had a good showing in their rep to qualify for Friday's semis. Yale's junior varsity eight fought hard in its heat and rep but will go on to race in the third level final on Saturday.
In the first race of the morning the Yale varsity eight took fifth in its heat. The Bulldogs crossed the line in 5:56.936, just behind Penn (5:56.763) in fourth and not far from Syracuse (5:54.645) in third. With only the top two going straight through to the semifinals, the Bulldogs would race again in one of the afternoon's repechage races.
Before the start of the junior varsity heats, the IRA's Fairness Committee changed the lane assignments for all remaining races. Moved from Lane 1 to Lane 5, the Yale junior varsity eight finished fifth with a time of 6:14.211. The Bulldogs finished in contact with Stanford (6:11.896) in fourth place, but open water separated second-place Brown with the other crews in the heat, meaning the Bulldogs would race again in the reps.
The Yale freshmen finished fourth in their heat, clocking in at 6:02.885. The two qualifying spots went to Washington (5:54.511) and Brown (5:59.352), while Princeton (6:02.590) just edged out Yale at the line for third place. The freshmen would have to race again in the afternoon to earn a spot in the semis, but of all the crews headed to the reps the Bulldogs had posted the second-fastest time, with Princeton's time being the fastest.
Yale's varsity eight was again the first Yale crew to come down the lanes in the afternoon. Racing in the first of two repechages, the Bulldogs rowed aggressively all the way down the course, walking through Stanford in the last 500 meters to earn the last spot in the semifinal from their race.
Varsity Eight Repechage 1
1. California 5:38.920
2. Syracuse 5:40.468
3. Yale 5:40.655
4. Stanford 5:41.269
5. Northeastern 5:41.613
6. Drexel 5:59.717
Yale will race in the second of tomorrow's semifinals at 12:30 p.m.
In the second varsity eight rep, Yale placed fourth out of five to move to Saturday's third level final. The Bulldogs finished with a time of 5:54.089, a little more than four seconds back on Penn (5:49.609) who took the last spot in tomorrow's semifinal.
The Yale freshmen rounded out the afternoon with a strong performance in the second of two repechages. The Bulldogs placed second with a time of 5:52.278, finishing in between BU (5:51.175) and Dartmouth (5:53.874). The freshmen advance to one of Friday's semifinals, racing at 11:30 a.m.
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity