RANCHO CORDOVA, California - The Marist Men's Rowing Team departs today for the west coast to attend the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship Regatta (IRA). This year the event is being held on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, CA just outside of Sacramento. The team is entered in the varsity 4 category and will begin racing on Friday with a heat and repechage followed by semifinals on Saturday and finals on Sunday.

MEET THE CREW:

Ryan Lillis: Coxswain

Junior Ryan Lillis is in his 3rd year as the Red Foxes top coxswain. This demanding position requires a lightweight person who can steer the boat through the water and also provide verbal commands to the crew throughout the race. Ryan hails from Jersey City NJ where he attended St. Peter's Prep High School. At Marist he has been the varsity coxswain since 2015. He is a multi-time MAAC champion as well as a MAAC and ECAC all-academic team member. He attended the U23 US Rowing ID camp in 2016 in Princeton NJ and is currently planning to row with the Vesper Boat Club U23 High Performance Team for the summer season in 2017.

Ray Mattingly: Stroke Seat

Ray is a current sophomore majoring in computer science. A strong leading force for our team throughout this season, Ray sat in the stroke seat position in the varsity 8 throughout the season. This demanding seat is the stern most seat in the boat and requires a rower who is controlled and aggressive and can set the rhythm for the rest of the crew. Ray Hails from Grosse Pointe, MI where he attended Grosse Pointe North High School and rowed at the Detroit Boat Club. With DBC, he earned 2 bronze medals in the lightweight 8 at the US Rowing Jr. National Championships and also earned 3 medals at the US Rowing Club Nationals. Ray was a MAAC champion in the 2 seat of the varsity 8 in 2016 and is a MAAC and ECAC all-academic team member.

Joe Kohn: 3 Seat

Joe Kohn is a current junior hailing from Park Ridge NJ where he attended St Joseph Regional HS. Joe started his rowing career at Marist as a novice athlete in 2015 with no previous experience. Since that time, he has become a leader for the team setting a high standard of excellence with his strong work ethic and consistent training regimen. Joe rowed in the 4 seat of the 1st varsity 8 in 2016 and in the 7 seat in the 2017 1st varsity 8. His current seat in the 4 is challenging and requires him to translate the rhythm of the boat back to the other rowers from the stroke seat. He was a 2016 MAAC champion and the current captain of the rowing team

Chris Carlson: 2 Seat

A current sophomore, Chris Carlson came to Marist from Bedford, NH where he attended the Brewster Academy and rowed with their HS rowing team. Chris' position in the boat is a power house seat which fits his talents well, generating a massive amount of wattage to power the shell. Chris has improved his rowing ability substantially since starting with the Marist team setting a new school record for the 2K Ergometer Test and placing 2nd all-time in the 6K test at Marist. Chris was invited to attend the US Rowing U23 National Team Selection Camp in Oklahoma City this summer. He sat in the 5 seat of the 1st varsity 8 in 2016 and 2017 where he was a MAAC Champion and is an important force in our varsity 4.

Morgan Stippa: Bow Seat

Morgan Stippa came to Marist as a transfer from UVM in 2016. He hails from Coxsackie NY, where he attended the Coxsackie-Athens high school and rowed with the Albany Rowing Club. Morgan was the 6 seat for our varsity 8 in 2016 and 2017. He was a MAAC champion in 2016 and is also a MAAC and ECAC all-academic team member. Morgan's seat in the varsity 4 is one that requires balance and poise as he sits closest to the bow which requires smooth and even technique that will help to maintain the balance of the boat. Morgan performs this job exceptionally well in spite of being the tallest member of the crew and also adds substantial power to the total output of the boat.

In addition to these athletes, the team would like to recognize Tadd Bindas from Ringoes, NJ and Chris Lazich from Brookline, NH who are attending the race with the team as back-up/spare rowers. These two rowers have been training substantially in the pair over the past 3 weeks to help the team prepare for the regatta.

The Marist Team takes to the water for the first time this Friday in the heat race against BU, Dartmouth, Navy, and Brown, all of whom represent top 20 ranked national powerhouse rowing teams.

"We are excited to once again have the opportunity to pit our rowers against some of the best teams in the nation. 2017 has been an outstanding growth season for the Red Foxes. This particular boat is rowing in the same lineup as in 2016, however, with the improvements in fitness and technique made since last season, we are looking forward to seeing what we can do this week in California." -Campbell Woods

For interested fans, the races can be viewed live online.

Check out the US Rowing Website : www.usrowing/event/2017-ira-championships/

OR check out continuing IRA coverage on Row2k.com