Cornell Lightweights Win National Title, Columbia Lightweights Capture Gold, Brown Heavyweights Take Silver at IRA Championships
Portions courtesy of Brown Athletic Communications, Columbia
Sports Information/Media Relations and Cornell Athletic
Photos courtesy of Row2k.com
WEST WINDSOR, N.J. -- Ivy League men's rowing captured plenty of hardware on the final day of the 112th Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships as Cornell captured the men's lightweight national title, Columbia won gold in the men's lightweight varsity four grand final and Brown took home silver in the men's heavyweight varsity eight final.
Cornell's lightweight varsity eight claimed the program's fifth national championship, edging Harvard in the varsity eight race by .54 of a second. The victory marked the 11th undefeated season n program history for the Big Red lightweights. Cornell, which has been undefeated IRA champions just once before in 1992, last won an IRA lightweight title in 2008.
Ivy League boats have captured 24 of the last 25 national championships in the lightweight varsity eight since 1990, including the last 10 in a row -- Yale (2005, 2011), Cornell (2006, 2007, 2008, 2014), Princeton (2009, 2010) and Harvard (2012, 2013).
The Big Red entered the race as the favorite after winning the
ECAC and Ivy League titles two weeks ago and did not disappoint,
winning its heat by nearly three seconds before coming back in the
afternoon to claim the crown in 5:47.921, ahead of an Ivy League
field. Harvard was second (5:48.463), followed by Columbia
(5:49.962), Yale (5:52.483), Princeton (5:55.362) and Dartmouth
Columbia grabbed IRA men's lightweight gold for the first time since 1929 with a victory in the varsity four grand final. The Lions crossed the line first in 6:28.935, in front of Harvard (6:30.323), Wisconsin (6:30.374), Cornell (6:32.699), Yale (6:38.050) and Princeton (6:44.824). The Lions' showing not only produced the program's first IRA men's lightweight gold ever, but also the first gold medal by any Columbia crew in a national championship event since the famed men's heavyweight crew took gold in the 1929 Intercollegiate Regatta, the predecessor to the IRA.
Over in the heavyweight competition, Brown surged late to capture second in the first varsity eight grand final as the Bears claimed four medals to cap off the weekend. Washington took the title for a fourth-straight year in the event that officially declares the national champion. The Huskies crossed the line at 5:37.113, while Brown turned back California down the stretch to finish second in 5:39.626 with California third (5:42.063), Princeton fourth (5:43.715), Harvard fifth (5:45.389) and Yale sixth (5:51.168).
Brown's boats posted top four finishes in other grand finals -- second in varsity four, third in third varsity eight and freshman eight and fourth in second varsity eight -- as the Bears were one of only three schools with Washington and California to advance all five boats to the grand finals.
The League's only other first-place finish among Sunday's finals
came in Cornell's win in the third varsity eight petite final with
Yale just back in second.
Washington claimed the Ten Eyck Team Trophy with 192 points with California second with 188 points, Brown third with 178 points and Princeton fourth with 165 points.
Yale finished second with 41 points to Boston University's 51 points for the Chapman Award, which recognized the most improved team.