PHOTO BY SPORTGRAPHICS
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The 119th annual Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship begins June 3.
The event will take place over three days on Lake Mercer in West Windsor, New Jersey. Notably, for the first time in the history of the event, there will be a Division III Championship in addition to the usual offerings, including men’s and women’s lightweight rowing.
The University of California heads into the regatta ranked No. 1 after dethroning Yale, who spent much of the year atop the IRCA polls.
“Everything we’ve done continues to build well towards the weekend,” said Cal head coach Scott Frandsen when discussing the significance of this weekend. “The Varsity 8+ has maintained its consistency, and the crew is just really ready to get to Friday and get to racing. We have had the usual ups and downs of training, but we are excited about the races.”
In lightweight racing, Yale will race as the top seed in men’s competition. Fellow Ivy League competitor, Princeton, will head into the regatta ranked No. 5 but feels confident about the speed they’ve built.
“We’ve made some good changes before Sprints, but the regatta happened before we could get completely comfortable,” said Princeton head coach Marty Crotty. “With the three weeks before the IRAs, it’s been enough time to get some final training in, relax and let the boats run a bit more. We’re confident we can be a big factor in all the finals on Sunday morning.”
In the first-ever Divison III IRA competition, Williams tops the poll.
“For me and many of my teammates, this season has felt like the culmination of many years of hard work,” Riley Will, three-seat of the Williams first-varsity eight, said. “I would not only credit the current team for our success this season, but also our coach Marc and the classes that have come before us. We are where we are today because of their belief in the methodical process Marc devised, and they put into practice. I am very hopeful and confident that we can continue our winning season at IRAs, and I am extremely optimistic about the future of this team.”