Heavyweight Eights Advance Through IRA Heats, Prepare For Saturday Semis
Day 1 at the IRA Championships is all about energy conservation, and the three Princeton heavyweight eights took care of business on Mercer Lake.
*** UPDATED SUNDAY FINALS TIMES AT BOTTOM OF RELEASE ***
The third-seeded Tiger varsity eight, coming off its silver medal at the Eastern Sprints, won the third heat of the morning in 5:47.66, about two seconds ahead of Harvard, to advance to Saturday's first semifinal at its new time of 9:18 am. The Tigers will be plenty familiar with the surrounding boats, as Columbia, Yale and Brown have already earned spots in that race, and two more will join them following the afternoon reps.
The heat was a two-boat race most of the way, with Harvard holding a lead over much of the first split. Princeton made one blazing move early though, and it would be enough to take multiple seats immediately over the Crimson. The Tigers took the win, but both were far enough ahead of third-place Stanford to feel secure in their position.
The fourth-seeded 2V won its heat in 5:53.83, and it will race in the 9:58 am semifinal Saturday against Wisconsin, Harvard, Brown, and two boats from the afternoon reps. The second-seeded 3V also won its heat (5:52.00), and it will see Brown, Boston University and three reps qualifiers in the 10:22 semifinal.
Princeton sent a four to IRAs, and it took third in its heat in 6:35.80, so it will head back to repechages.
Due to the rain projections on Sunday, most grand finals will be raced consecutively at the start of the session. Following the heavyweight petite final at 7 am, the heavyweight varsity national championship race will begin at 7:08 am.
The women's lightweight final will follow at 7:16, and the men's lightweight eight (which Princeton has already qualified for) will begin at 7:24. The heavyweight 2V will begin at 7:32, and the 3V begins at 7:40.