Tough Water at IRA's Has Zags In Third Level Finals Saturday

The Varsity 8+, Second Varsity 8+ and Freshman 8+ will each race in the Third Level Finals Saturday.
The Varsity 8+, Second Varsity 8+ and Freshman 8+ will each race in the Third Level Finals Saturday.

June 2, 2011

CAMDEN, N.J. – The Gonzaga University men’s rowing team opened the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships Thursday with each of the three boats racing twice on Cooper River, in Camden, N.J. The Freshman 8+ had the best outing of the morning heats, placing fourth in their respective race, while the Varsity 8+ put together the strongest outing of the afternoon repechage races, having the team’s lone sub-six minute finish.

With wind playing a major factor, the Bulldogs had a rough time on the water all together though. The Varsity 8+, Second Varsity 8+ and Freshman 8+ will all now race in the Third Level Final Saturday.

“It is beautiful and sunny here, no clouds in the sky,” stated head coach Dan Gehn after the afternoon session. “Unfortunately the wind has been an issue. There were quarter tailwinds this morning and gusting winds of around 40-45 miles per hour this afternoon that caused whitecaps and made conditions tough.”

The Varsity 8+ opened the heat racing for Gonzaga Thursday, but quickly fell off the pace and finished sixth with a course time of 6:06.276. The University of Washington won the morning heat race with a finish of 5:32.251. Coming in second was Brown University at 5:33.726. Only the top two finishers earned an automatic spot in the Grand Final, so Gonzaga raced in an afternoon repechage.

“The Varsity 8+ came back with a good race after its tough outing in heat racing,” stated Gehn. “It was in the pack all the way down the course and battled with Columbia for the majority of the race. We were up on Columbia by about three to four seats but with 30 strokes to go, after having handled the tough water so well, hit a rough spot and fell back on Columbia.”

Gonzaga shaved nearly 11 seconds off its time from the morning heat and finished at 5:55.519. Stanford University won the repechage at 5:38.00 and Navy placed second at 5:38.474.      

The Zag Freshman 8+ closed out their opening heat with a time of 6:00.438, two seconds behind the University of Wisconsin and three seconds ahead of the University of Pennsylvania, for fourth place.

“The Freshman 8+ had the best run down the course,” explained Gehn. “They were ahead of Penn the majority of the race and maneuvered around Yale, who had an issue with its skeg, to finish strong.”

Despite its fourth place finish Gonzaga had to race in the repechage Thursday afternoon because only the top two crews earned an automatic spot in the Grand Final. The Bulldogs, having to endure the wind, weren’t able to handle the rough water and had a disappointing performance, finishing fifth in a time of 6:10.036.

The Second Varsity 8+ placed fifth in their morning heat race at 6:19.855, with the University of California winning the race with a time of 5:39.173. In the Bulldogs repechage, they again placed fifth, finishing the 2000-meter course in 6:22.059.

Gonzaga now has a day off and will begin racing Saturday with the Freshman 8+ Third Level Final at 6:21 a.m. PT. The Second Varsity 8+ Third Level Final is set for 6:33 a.m. PT and the Varsity 8+ Third Level Final will begin at 8:15 a.m. PT.

Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships Results – Day 1 (Cooper River - Camden, N.J.)

Varsity 8+ Heat Race

1. Washington, 5:32.251
2. Brown, 5:33.726
3. Cornell, 5:40.738
4. Stanford, 5:42.949
5. Syracuse, 5:47.233
6. Gonzaga, 6:06.276

Varsity 8+ Repechage
1. Stanford, 5:38.000
2. Navy, 5:38.474
3. Georgetown, 5:38.780
4. Pennsylvania, 5:39.405
5. Columbia, 5:51.175
6. Gonzaga, 5:55.519

Second Varsity 8+ Heat Race
1. California, 5:39.173
2. Wisconsin, 5:42.827
3. Cornell, 5:52.103
4. Navy, 6:03.573
5. Gonzaga, 6:19.855

Second  Varsity 8+ Repechage
1. Pennsylvania, 5:44.777
2. Navy, 5:46.354
3. Princeton, 5:47.405
4. UC San Diego, 6:04.840
5. Gonzaga, 6:22.059

Freshman 8+ Heat Race
1. Princeton, 5:36.457
2. Washington, 5:41.142
3. Wisconsin, 5:58.227
4. Gonzaga, 6:00.438
5. Pennsylvania, 6:03.343
6. Yale, 6:57.841

Freshman 8+ Repechage
1. Brown, 5:41.451
2. Stanford, 5:49.713
3. UC San Diego, 5:49.864
4. Yale, 5:51.967
5. Gonzaga, 6:10.036

Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships Schedule – Saturday, June 4



Varsity 8+ Third Level Final (8:15 am. PT)
1. UC San Diego
2. Dartmouth
3. Boston
4. Pennsylvania
5. Columbia
6. Gonzaga

Second Varsity 8+ Third Level Final (6:33 a.m. PT)
3. UC San Diego
4. Gonzaga
**Other Second Varsity 8+ opponents will be decided Friday

Freshman 8+ Third Level Final (6:21 a.m. PT)
1. Pennsylvania
2. Syracuse
3. Wisconsin
4. Yale
5. Gonzaga

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