RANCHO CORDOVA, California - Today was the second day of the IRA National Championship Regatta in Rancho Cordova, CA where the Marist Men's Rowing Team has entered a Varsity 4+ boat to compete with 22 other crews from across the country.
Yesterday the Red Foxes raced to a 3rd place finish in the heats and a 2nd place finish in the repechage to earn a berth in the top A/B semifinals on day two. Today the team was set to race Washington, Navy, BU, Dartmouth, and Brown with the top 3 boats to move on to the grand final and the rest to move to petites. The morning dawned with a slight overcast and light headwinds on the race course.
The Marist 4+ blasted off the line in close contention with the field having their strongest start yet at the regatta. Coming through the 500m mark the boat from Washington (UW) had moved into 1st with the rest of the fleet battling for 2nd place. The Red Foxes battled from end to end with Brown, BU, and Navy while the boat from Dartmouth faded to 6th. With 500m left to race the 4 boats were in close connection and sprinted flat out through the final meters of the race. Marist crossed the line in 4th place, one second behind Brown and 1.5 seconds behind BU while beating Navy. This position means that the Marist crew just missed the grand finals and will proceed to be a top seed in the petite finals for the last day.
"After some slower starts on day 1, we knew that we needed to get off the line with more aggression today and stick with the strong teams in our semifinal. Our Marist boat had a fantastic start and first 500m to put themselves in contention and then battled ferociously throughout the duration of the race. We are very proud of the race we put together today and the athletes came away feeling that we had hit our best strokes of the regatta. We are looking forward to another battle tomorrow in the petite final and a chance to race more fast crews for final rankings." - Men's Coach Campbell Woods.
The Red Foxes will race in the Petite Final tomorrow starting at 9:20 a.m. PT. In their race will be crews from Harvard, Navy, Dartmouth, Wisconsin, and MIT. Races can be found live online using links from the US Rowing website or Row2k.