IRA national championships: Washington, California dominate the water on day one
It was a clean sweep for the Huskies on Friday in the opening round of the IRA national championships. In fact, the Husky freshmen were so good they get to sit back and relax Saturday.
All four varsity eights took first in their heats, securing places in tomorrow's semifinals. The freshman team, by virtue of taking the top-overall place, move directly to the finals on Sunday.
The varsity squad is looking for its fifth consecutive IRA championship.
Head coach Mike Callahan, speaking to GoHuskies.com, was pleased with Friday's performances. "I'm definitely happy," said Callahan. "We were the No. 1 seed in all those races and we definitely wanted to secure our spot in the semifinals, but also keep that seed so that we'll have the best options, best lane in the semifinals."
The men's varsity eight finished with the best overall time at 5:52.250
The freshman team garnered the largest victory, besting second-place Cornell by nearly eight seconds, 5:56.969 to 6:04.274.
If Friday was a landlside for the Huskies, the Cal Bears weren't far behind. The Bears varsity teams swept their heats, just like Washington, and saw their freshman team come in second to Wisconsin, the lone blemish on a near-perfect day.
Head coach Mike Teti told CalBears.com just how tight it was at times. “I think they executed really well overall today. All boats did well. The goal in the heat races is to advance and they did a really good job. I was proud of the way they stuck to the race plan. The boats were in a little bit of a fight at times and they kept their base and worked through it.”
The men's varsity eight notched the best time for Cal, with a blistering 5:51.813, finishing ahead of Harvard (5:59.051).
The varsity four boat will face off against conference rival Washington on Saturday in the semis.
The Cardinal's lone team at the IRA championships, the varisty four, finished in fourth-place in its heat. A second-place finish in the repechage, with a time of 5:52.998, kept them out of the semis.
The day was a nice send-off for seniors Scott Roycroft and Kaess Smit, who were named to the All-Pac-12 team this week.
After a strong showing at the Pac-12 Championships, where the team finished third to notch an at-large bid, Oregon State's season came to an end on Friday. The Beavers' varsity eight crew finished the season ranked 16th in the country in the US Rowing collegiate poll, but never found their rhythm on Friday, finishing in 4th or 5th in all of their heats.
Their best finish came in men's third varsity eight race, where the Beavers bested Drexel for a fourth-place finish with a time of 6:31.707.