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Washington Advances All Four Boats To IRA Grand Finals

May 28, 2021

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – The No. 1-ranked Washington men's rowing team advanced to the grand final in all four boat categories with time trail and semifinal wins Friday at the 2021 IRA Rowing Championships at Mercer Lake.
The Huskies' four crews opened the morning with top performances in time trials, which placed each boat in the afternoon's A/B/C semifinals, where the top two finishers in each of three, six-boat semifinals moved on to Saturday's grand finals. The varsity four semifinal was canceled due to worsening weather. Washington advanced to the grand final in that event based on the time trial result.
Saturday morning, Washington's men will race for national championships in each of the four events: the varsity eight, second varsity eight, third varsity eight and the varsity four. In men's collegiate rowing, the winner of the varsity eight grand final is considered the "national champion."
Washington, seeded first in all four boats, opened the regatta with top times in each time trial during the morning session. The varsity eight finished with a time of 5:25.416, about one second ahead of second-place Dartmouth, which out-performed its 10th seed. Stanford and Cal finished third and fourth in the trial.
The Huskies' second and third eights, as well as the varsity four, all finished with the best time in their trials, each by comfortable margins in fields with as many as 26 entries. Those results placed the UW crews in the first semifinal in each event. The afternoon semis were run under much worse weather conditions than the morning trials, as the wind and rain descended on Mercer Lake.
In the first of those semifinals, the Washington varsity eight, stroked by George Esau, led the entire way, though Northeastern gave the UW a good fight, staying in contact with Washington's shell throughout and holding off Boston University for the other qualifying spot in the grand final.
Washington won with a time 6:20.825, to Northeastern's 6:24.845. Dartmouth and California won the other two semifinals, while second-place finishers Syracuse and Stanford also earned spots in the grand final.
The second varsity eight followed suit with a win in its semifinal. With 2021 team captain Steve Rosts in the stroke seat, the Husky crew rowed to a comfortable win in a time of 6:28.115, more than 10 seconds in front of second-place Princeton, which beat out Stanford for a place in the M2V8+ grand final, along with Northeastern, Dartmouth, Syracuse and Princeton from the other two semifinals.
In the third varsity eight race, with the rain storm well underway, the Huskies jumped out to the lead right away, though Brown gave the Huskies a solid challenge, hanging in with the UW and closing the gap. The Huskies won with a time of 6:33.637, a little more than two seconds in front of the Ivy Leaguers. Those two qualified for the grand final, alongside Cal, Northeastern, Dartmouth and Navy.
Due to the weather that had gotten more intense during the third varsity eights races, the IRA decided to cancel the semifinals for the varsity fours. Rather than semifinals, the top seven finishers from the time trials will move directly to the grand final. Those crews are, in order: Washington, California, Boston University, Dartmouth, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma City and Syracuse.
Here is the updated Saturday morning schedule for the grand finals (updated at 3:10 p.m. PT Friday), along with the live video link. Any additional changes will be posted here, and on Twitter (@UW_Rowing), once they're announced by the IRA race committee:
5:20 a.m. PT – M3V8+ grand final
6:10 a.m. PT – M2V8+ grand final
7:00 a.m. PT – MV8+ grand final
7:30 a.m. PT – MV4+ grand final
Finals Live Video 
Varsity Eight
Shell: Shoe DaWg
Cox: Max Schwartzkopff (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)
Stroke: George Esau (Long Lake, Minn./Orono)
7: Pieter Quinton (Portland, Ore./Grant/Harvard)
6: Jack Walkey (Victoria, B.C., Canada)
5: Peter Lancashire (Victoria, B.C., Canada)
4: Gert-Jan van Doorn (Leiden, The Netherlands)
3: Mattijs Holler (Vienna, Austria)
2: Adam Krol (Toronto, Ont., Canada)
Bow: Samuel Halbert (Redmond, Wash./Woodinville)
Second Varsity Eight
Shell: Chuck Holtz III
Cox: Zach Casler (Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor)
Stroke: Steve Rosts (Jordon, Ont., Canada)
7: Ian Engstrom (Lincoln, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury)
6: Felix Reinhold (Cape Town, South Africa)
5: Nils Vorberg (Hamburg, Germany)
4: David Bridges (Portland, Ore./Jesuit)
3: Paolo Bifulco (Portland, Ore./Lincoln)
2: Sebastian Ritter (Regensburg, Germany)
Bow: Chase Deitner (Perth Australia)
Third Varsity Eight
Shell: Chuck Holtz II
Cox: Adam Gold (Seattle, Wash./Seattle Academy)
Stroke: Jeffrey Thiers (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt)
7: Robert Pluijmert (Dieren, The Netherlands)
6: Max Mason (Redmond, Wash./Redmond)
5: Max Heid (Seattle, Wash./Seattle Prep)
4: Chase Barrows (Snohomish, Wash./Archbishop Murphy)
3: Jack Premzic (Davis, Calif./Davis Senior)
2: Pablo Matan (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine Prep)
Bow: Blake Bradshaw (Auckland, New Zealand)
Varsity Four
Shell: Lou Gellermann
Stroke: Luca Unkovic (Paris, France/Redwood (Calif.))
3: Colin Kwiecinski (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier)
2: Austin Regier  (Burien, Wash./Mount Rainier)
Bow: Abe Eligator (Larchmont, N.Y./Mamaroneck)
Cox: Thomas Wenk (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier)
Washington's IRA Championships Regatta History
Varsity Challenge Cup (MV8+) – 18
1923, 1924, 1926, 1936, 1937,
1940, 1941, 1948, 1950, 1970,
1997, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012,
2013, 2014, 2015
Kennedy Challenge Cup (M2V8+) – 29
1925, 1926, 1927, 1935, 1936,
1937, 1938, 1940, 1948, 1949,
1950, 1953, 1956, 1964, 1972,
1993, 1997, 2004, 2005, 2007,
2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012,
2013, 2015, 2017, 2018
Stewards Cup
(Given to MF8+ 1900-2016; M3V8+ 2017-) – 28
1931, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937,
1939, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950,
1951, 1953, 1961, 1969, 1997,
2001, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2010,
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,
2017, 2018, 2019
Eric W. Will Trophy (MV4+) – 12
2003, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2011,
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,
2017, 2019
Third Varsity Eight (M3V8+) – 1
Freshman Four (MF4+) – 1
James Ten Eyck Trophy (Men's Points Champion) – 16
1953, 1959, 1964, 1970, 2007,
2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012,
2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018