Four men's rowing teams earn IRA Championships bids

By the Pac-12 Conference

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — Men's rowing teams from California, Oregon State, Stanford and Washington have received bids to compete at the 2013 Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships May 31- June 2 in Gold City, Calif, the IRA announced Tuesday. The regatta will take place on Lake Natoma, the site for the Pac-12 Championships last weekend.

The IRA Champion is determined by the winner of varsity eight grand final.

Top-ranked Washington captured its fourth consecutive Pac-12 title with victories in three of four races at Lake Natoma on May 19, including the varsity eight. The Huskies' top boat is undefeated this season and has notched dual race victories over ranked opponents Stanford (No. 4), California (No. 6) and Oregon State (No. 20). Washington won all four races in each of those regattas.

California finished second at the Pac-12 Championships but claimed a victory by nearly six seconds over Conference champion Washington in the varsity four. The Golden Bears kicked off the 2013 spring campaign with a varsity eight victory at the San Diego Crew Classic to claim their fourth Copley Cup in the past five years. The varsity eight followed its performance in the opener with a convincing win over No. 11 Wisconsin at the Stanford Invitational on April 20 and paced the Bears to a sweep of then-No. 19 Oregon State the following weekend.

Stanford is coming off of a third place finish at the Pac-12 Championships, highlighted by a second place finish in the varsity eight. Stanford also topped the Bears in the Big Row to capture the Schwabacher Cup in the varsity eight for the first time since 2008. Two weeks prior, the Cardinal's top boat posted wins over No. 11 Wisconsin and No. 20 Oregon State at the Stanford Invitational.

Oregon State received an at-large bid after placing fourth at the Pac-12 Championships. The Beavers have gone toe-to-toe with four top-10 teams this season and made a statement early in the spring season. OSU's varsity eight earned a spot in the Grand Final of the San Diego Crew Classic after finishing third in its qualifying heat. The Beavers finished fourth at the Conference meet last season.

California lays claim to 16 IRA titles, the second-most of any school. Last season, Washington won all five grand finals at the IRA Championships, becoming the first crew to sweep the regatta. It was its 15th national championship and first repeat title in more than 70 years. The Huskies also won the Ten Eyck Trophy for the sixth straight season, finishing as the overall team points champion.

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