Huskies, Golden Bears set for IRA national title showdown
The top three boats from each of Saturday’s two semifinal races qualify for the grand final of the IRA National Championships Sunday. Three Pac-12 crews competed in the varsity eight semifinal, but only Washington and Cal, the first- and second-place finishers, will be racing for a national championship, as Stanford lagged behind in fourth place. Both Washington and Cal saw each of their five boats advance on Saturday at Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif.
The Washington men go 5 for 5 on Day 2 of the IRAs with all boats winning their semifinals at Lake Natoma! Grand... fb.me/321fq5Y4E
— UW Husky Crew (@UWHuskyCrew) June 1, 2013
The biggest margin of victory came from the Huskies’ open four crew (6:28.5), which beat out Brown by more than seven seconds. The closest call came in the varsity eight race. Washington’s 5:40.74 time was less than two seconds ahead of Cal’s second-place boat. With the first-place finish, the No. 1 Huskies remain the prohibitive favorite, as the winner of the varsity eight grand final on Sunday determines the IRA team national champion. Washington’s three other crews — varsity four, freshmen eight and second varsity eight — all outlasted Ivy League boats by around two seconds to complete the sweep.
— California Crew (@CaliforniaCrew) June 1, 2013
Like Friday, three Cal crews took first place, though only the open four boat won both days. That boat bested Northeastern by less than a second, 6:32.62 compared to 6:33.47, in Saturday’s semifinal race. Cal’s second varsity crew’s race was equally close, beating out Boston University by just over a second, while the Bears’ varsity four boat (6:25.62) also finished first ahead of BU (6:27.58). The Cal varsity eight boat shook off a slow start to finish with a time of 5:42.32 in second place, right behind Washington. “Now they have to find a way to take it to a new level tomorrow,” said Cal head coach Mike Teti. The Huskies also beat out the Bears in the freshman eight race, as Cal (5:56.57) finished five and a half seconds behind in third place.
[Related: Complete IRA championships results]