SEATTLE -- The fastest crews in the nation are in New Jersey to compete for a national title at the 112th annual Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships, a three-day event held on Lake Mercer in West Windsor, N.J.
The Huskies are searching for their 17th National Championship and also to make the record books as the only Husky team to win four consecutive national championships. To get there, the crews will have to continue their near perfect season as they take on the 22-team field that features the best boats in American collegiate rowing.
Once again, the IRAs will be streamed in their entirety. Live video is available here: http://d3cast.com/rowing/ira.htm. Up-to-the-minute results will be available on the team's official Twitter feed (@UWHuskyCrew). Click Here for Event Information from Regatta Central.
For a full schedule of events, click here.
The format for the IRAs will feature five boats: the varsity 8+, the second varsity 8+, the third varsity 8+, the freshman 8+ and the varsity 4+. In previous years, instead of the 3V8+, a second open 4+ race took the fifth slot. The National Champion will be determined by the fastest boat in the V8+ Grand Final.
Joining the Huskies at the IRA Championships will be George Washington, Cornell, Yale, Dartmouth, San Diego, Hobart, Colgate, Harvard, Northwestern, Pennsylvania, Drexel, Syracuse, Wisconsin, California, Boston, Oregon State, Gonzaga, Florida Institute of Technology, Navy, Brown, Princeton, Stanford and Holy Cross. In order to compete at the IRAs, crews must either qualify (which the Huskies did by winning the Pac-12 Conference), or be selected as an at-large. Teams must also hold "varsity status" at their respective institutions.
The Huskies are also seeking their eighth straight Ten Eyck Trophy, which is given to the program that accumulates the most overall points at the IRAs. Washington is the only team in the history of the IRAs to ever win more than four Ten Eyck awards in a row.
Washington has already shown great success on the year, only dropping two races since April, a V4+ loss at then-no.-1 Cal and a very tight finish just behind Cal in the 2V8+ two weekends ago at Pac-12s. Since taking over the no. 1 spot in the polls after defeating Cal, the V8+ has not missed a beat. The Dawgs will look to capitalize on the momentum they’ve been gaining all year this weekend.
The V8+ will look to complete their undefeated season with an unprecedented fourth consecutive national championship and their 17th national title in program history.
The 2V8+ will seek to bounce back from their second-place finish at Pac-12s and win their eighth-straight IRA gold medal.
The F8+ is on pace to win their fifth IRA gold in six years, and the 3V8+ is out to mirror the success of the other four boats in recent history, and make a name for themselves as the first 3V8+ IRA champions.
The V4+ also will fight to extend a streak of four IRA golds to five and cap off their nearly perfect season in a big way.
The Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta is the oldest collegiate crew championship in the country, and remains the premier event for national rowing honors for college men.
The first IRA Regatta, on June 24, 1895, was a four-miler between Columbia, the winner, Cornell and Pennsylvania. In 1923, Washington, coached by Rusty Callow, became the first Western school to win the IRA's featured varsity eight competition, followed by another victory in 1924 and then again in 1926. When Callow left Seattle to coach at Penn, he was succeeded by his assistant Al Ulbrickson, who continued the Huskies' winning ways with six IRA varsity eight titles in 1936, 1937, 1940, 1941, 1948 and 1950. His freshman, second varsity and varsity crews "swept the river" in 1936, 1937, 1948 and 1950. Bob Ernst ended a 20-year coaching run in 2007 with a national championship. Ernst, who now coaches the UW women, led his team to a modern-day sweep in 1997, when UW crews won all three races on the Cooper River.
FRIDAY RACE SCHEDULE FOR THE HUSKIES (PT)
5 a.m. V8+ Lane 3
6:45 a.m. 2V8+ Lane 3
7:15 a.m. F8+ Lane 3
7:45 a.m. 3V8+ Lane 3
8:45 a.m. V4+ Lane 3