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Four Boats Advance to Men's Heavyweight Varsity Eight Grand Final at IRA National Championships

Brown's First Varsity Eight
Brown's First Varsity Eight

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Portions courtesy of Brown Athletic Communications

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. -- Brown and Princeton continued to lead the Ivy League contingent following a second day of racing on Mercer Lake at the 112th Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships.

For the second year in a row, Brown has all five of its boats and Princeton has its three varsity eight boats in Sunday's grand finals. The Bears are one of just three programs, and the only program from the East, to advance all five crews to Sunday's grand finals. Three-time defending national champion Washington and California also sent five boats to the grand finals.

The first varsity eight grand final will have a strong Ivy flavor as Harvard and Yale join their conference compadres in the six-boat final with California and Washington.

In Saturday's first varsity eight semifinal, Brown battled a highly-competitive field. California nosed off the front line and held on for the advantage in 5:47.397, followed closely by Brown (5:49.863) and Washington (5:53.127). In the second semifinal, League boats came in 1-2-3 order with Harvard coming from behind to stop clock at 6:03.898 and fend off Princeton (6:05.925). The Tigers were leading at the 1500m mark, but a strong move in the final 500 allowed the Crimson to earn the win. Yale finished third in the event (6:07.845), just outpacing Boston University (6:11.533).

The other Ivy boats in grand finals include the freshmen eights from Cornell and Harvard.

The League's lightweight varsity eights see their first action during Sunday's championship finals beginning at 8 a.m. with Columbia, Cornell and Harvard, along with Navy, in the first heat and Dartmouth, Princeton and Yale, along with MIT, in the second heat. The lightweight's V8 grand final is set for 12:20 p.m. with the heavyweight's V8 grand final concluding the event at 12:45 p.m.