SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Dartmouth heavyweight crew team opened up action at the 2013 IRA National Championships on Friday (May 31) on Lake Natoma in Sacramento, Calif. The Big Green’s first varsity eight and freshman eight both advanced to Saturday’s semifinals with top-five finishes in their respective repechage heats.
Dartmouth’s first varsity eight was in a battle in its repechage race. At the 1500- meter mark of the race, George Washington had a three-seat lead on the Big Green and the teams maintained contact down the course, but it was the Colonials who used a good sprint to take third place. The Big Green took fourth with a time of 6:15.64 placing them in the third or fourth semifinal.
The Big Green rookies also secured a spot in the semifinals with runner-up honors in their heat. The race featured another tight race between the Big Green and George Washington. After a tough start, the Dartmouth crew gained some momentum in the middle thousand and battled the Colonials for the remainder of the race. George Washington had a slightly better sprint and crossed the finish line with a time of 6:18.70, just ahead of Dartmouth who crossed with a time of 6:19.29.
The Big Green’s second varsity eight advanced to Sunday’s third level final after placing fourth with a time of 6:15.65. The Dartmouth crew had a good race with the Stanford crew down the course with the Cardinal crew sprinting ahead by less than a second.
The open four also reached the third level final with a fourth-place finish. The open four race was tightly contested as just five seconds separated the crews. Dartmouth crossed the finish line with a time of 7:06.90 just off of the Holy Cross crew who took third with a time of 7:05.95.
Dartmouth’s first varsity eight opened up the weekend’s racing. The Big Green, racing in the third heat, placed fifth with a time of 6:08.48, five seconds shy of the fourth-place crew from Drexel. The two crews really battled each other throughout the race, maintaining contact down the entire course, but the Dragons pulled away late. The Big Green’s fifth-place finish qualified them for the repechage.
The second varsity eight placed fourth in its morning heat in a tightly contested race. Dartmouth crossed the finish line with a time of 6:09.41, a mere .03 seconds before the crew from Oregon State. With 500 meters left in the contest, the Big Green held a two-seat advantage, which they would maintain through the finish line also earning them a spot in the repechage.
The freshmen eight and the open four also earned spots in the repechage. The Big Green rookies crossed the finish line with a time of 6:34.70, good for fifth place while the open four finished in fourth place with a time of 7:37.31.
The Big Green will continue racing at the 2013 IRA National Championship tomorrow (June 1) with the semifinals of the first varsity eight and the freshman eight.