RANCHO CORDOVA, California - The Marist Men's Rowing Team competed today in the first races of the 2017 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship Regatta (IRA). This year's regatta is being held at Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, CA. The Marist team is competing in the Varsity 4+ category.

The day started with the heats races in the morning with Marist racing boats from Brown, BU, Dartmouth, and Navy. The Marist boat had a strong start and held even with most of the fleet for the first part of the race quickly pushing away Dartmouth. Coming through the 1000m mark the Red Foxes were looking strong but had a brief stumble when their oar is dug into the water too deeply and destabalizes the boat. The team recovered and fought back moving through Brown and BU in the last 500m for a tight finish with BU less than a second ahead and Brown less than a second behind. Navy won the race with open water and Dartmouth was off the back.

The first race sent Marist to the afternoon repechage races which determine who will make the break to the top two finals. The Marist 4 faced Columbia, Princeton, and UPenn in their rep. The Marist boat once again got off the line cleanly however the boats from Penn and Princeton moved away quickly to take an open water lead. With placement in the top finals on the line, the Marist boat made a big move to come even at the 1000m mark. The team from UPenn, seemingly overextended from such a fast start, fell off as Marist charged into second and came across the line in a strong position behind Princeton.

This placement has earned the Red Foxes a spot in the A semifinal for tomorrow where they will face Navy, Dartmouth, BU, Brown, and Washington. This race will determine who moves into the Grand Final or the Petite Final.

"The team had a tough morning today with the fastest heat and were determined to come through the afternoon with a top two finish to move into the top finals. After placing 17th at the regatta in 2016, a major goal of the team this year was to move up to the top tier finals which guarantees a minimum placing of 12th at the regatta. The team is excited for a chance to qualify for the grand final and prove our speed against the fastest boats"- Campbell Woods

For more information about the regatta, check out race coverage and live racing at www.Row2k.com. The Red Foxes will race in their A Semi at 9:50am PT.