Varsity 8+ Finishes 17th at the IRA National Championships

Bulldog Varsity 8+ ties highest finish in school history placing 17th overall.
Bulldog Varsity 8+ ties highest finish in school history placing 17th overall.

June 4, 2011

CAMDEN, N.J. – The Gonzaga University men’s rowing Varsity 8+ closed out the 2011 season finishing 17th in the nation as it took fifth in the Third Level Final on the last day of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships. The Bulldogs, rowing on Cooper River in Camden, N.J., also placed 17th in the Freshman 8+ and 14th in the Second Varsity 8+.

“We knew it was going to be tough going into this weekend,” explained head coach Dan Gehn. “It was a pretty fast field and that is what we ran in to. Despite that, anytime you race in the national championship, your program is moving forward. Our team saw what speed is out there and is already excited for next year. They have seen what to do to get up in the rankings and it was great to see that.”

Boston University won the Varsity 8+ Third Level Final in a time of 5:43.406, followed by Dartmouth College at 5:46.021. Columbia and Pennsylvania took third and fourth, respectively, with times of 5:46.739 and 5:52.877. Gonzaga came in fifth, closing out the 2,000-meter course in a time of 6:03.112. UC San Diego rounded out the Third Level Final with a mark of 6:05.114.

“It was a bit of a disappointing race for the varsity but they raced a heck of a race,” stated Gehn. “Ultimately, they came from behind to get through UC San Diego, which was a bit of revenge after they [UC San Diego] beat us at the WIRA Championships but just one second.”

The Bulldogs tied their best finish in school history with their 17th finish. Gonzaga also closed out the 2009 IRA Championships in 17th.

The University of Washington won the Varsity 8+ national championship, with a three second victory over second place Harvard at 5:30.623.

The Second Varsity 8+, racing in only its second IRA Championship in school history, won a race-off against UC San Diego in the Third Level Final to rank 14th in the nation. The Zags had their fastest finish of the weekend Saturday, with a time of 6:01.537, edging out the Tritans who closed out the course in 6:01.969.

“The Second Varsity 8+ was the most exciting race of the day,” said Gehn. “We led to start off the race and UCSD came back and got a few seat lead. It continued to be a back-and-forth race until we moved through them with 300-meters to go and held on for the victory.”

There were only two teams in the Third Level Final because a team hit a log during its original heat and had to stop. That team was granted a spot in semifinal and made the Petite Final to make it a seven boat race.  

Washington also won the Grand Final of the Second Varsity 8+ race with a finish of 5:36.969.

The Freshman 8+ placed sixth in its respective Third Level Final to end the weekend 17th. Yale won the Third Level Final at 5:53.628, followed by the University of Wisconsin (5:54.333) and Syracuse (5:54.648). Gonzaga had a time of 6:07.603.

California took the top honors in the Freshman 8+ Grand Final in 5:36.133.

Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships Results – Final Day
Saturday, June 4, 2011 – Cooper River, Camden, N.J.

Varsity 8+ Third Level Final
(Gonzaga finishes 17th in the nation)
1. Boston, 5:43.406
2. Dartmouth, 5:46.021
3. Columbia, 5:46.739
4. Pennsylvania, 5:52.877
5. Gonzaga, 6:03.112
6. UC San Diego, 6:05.114



Varsity 8+ Lineup: Taylor Mattheisen, Andrew Krug, Connor Wege, Kenny Mentele, Tim Doupe, Benji Schwarz, Matt White, Stephen McEvoy, Bennett Shultz.

Second Varsity 8+ Third Level Final
(Gonzaga finishes 14th in the nation)
1. Gonzaga, 6:01.537
2. UC San Diego, 6:01.969

Second Varsity 8+ Lineup: Enrique Alvarado, Sahan Fernando, Erik Strand, Dan Rinker, Dane Pavlik, Sean Ryan, Nick Willard, Stuart McDonald, David Wayne.

Freshman 8+ Third Level Final
(Gonzaga finishes 17th in the nation)
1. Yale, 5:53.628
2. Wisconsin, 5:54.333
3. Syracuse, 5:54.648
4. Pennsylvania, 6:02.392
5. Gonzaga, 6:07.603

Freshman 8+ Lineup: Kayla Cartelli, Davis Lockett, Jordan Chapin, Mike MacPherson, Rick Ruddell, Zach O’Neill, Zack O’Connor, Jeremy Fabatz, Adam Obenberger.

For full results, go here.

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