Stanford Men Begin IRA National Championship Action Thursday

June 2, 2010

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    STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford men's rowing heads back east to Camden County, N.J. in pursuit of a national title this weekend at the 108th IRA National Championships Regatta. The Cardinal have entered three boats into the competition, which opens up with Thursday's preliminary heats.

    The IRA National Championships Regatta is set to run from June 3-5. The Stanford men will enter boats in the I Eight, Frosh Eight and Varsity Four classes.

    The I Eight, which took home a national bronze medal at last year's IRA Regatta, will look to reach the podium once more this weekend. Already this year, the Cardinal men have captured the Pac-10 bronze medal, and defeated Michigan, Oregon State and Santa Clara at home races while also booking a sixth-place finish in the Copley Cup competition at the San Diego Crew Classic.

    Stanford's top boat will open up IRA action Thursday morning in the third preliminary heat at 5:30 a.m. PT (8:30 a.m. ET), matched up with Navy, Dartmouth, Washington, Wisconsin and Jacksonville.

    The top two boats in each of the three six-boat heats will advance to Friday's semifinal round, while the rest will go to Thursday afternoon's repechage for a second chance at reaching the semifinals.

    Stanford's Frosh Eight, which also claimed bronze at the Pac-10 Championships three weeks ago, will look to better last year's fourth-place finish in the petite final. The men, who went four-for-four at the Stanford Invitational a month and a half ago, defeating Michigan, Santa Clara, Oregon State and Wisconsin, will be in its class' second heat against Navy, Washington, Boston University and Oregon State.

    As with the I Eight races, the top two boats will advance to Friday's semifinal round, with the rest going to Thursday afternoon's repechage heats.

    The Cardinal Four will round out the preliminary heats for Stanford. Three weeks ago, the Four reached the podium with a bronze-medal effort at the Pac-10 Championships.

    Thursday, the Cardinal will be in the third heat, matched up with Brown, California, Navy, Harvard and George Washington. The top two boats will advance to Friday's semifinal round, with the rest going to Thursday afternoon's repechage heats.