MIT Men's Heavyweight Crew Ends Season at IRA National Championships
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – To wrap up the season, the MIT men's heavyweight crew traveled to sunny California for the 111th annual IRA National Championship Regatta on Lake Natoma, which took place from Friday, May 31 through Sunday, June 2. The Engineers entered just one varsity four boat, which raced on all three days of competition, ending their weekend in the Final 3 race.
Early on Friday morning, MIT competed in heat one of four of the men's varsity four event. Racing in lane five, the Engineers started out in third place, just narrowly behind the University of Washington and Boston University. With a 1,000m to go, Tech slipped to fourth, which is where they stayed for the remainder of the race, completing the event with a time of 7:02.21, getting a best time this season by almost ten seconds. Washington held onto the lead, finishing with a 6:36.89 and Boston University was second in 6:44.59. MIT finished ahead of Harvard, who crossed the line in 7:11.29.
The fastest two boats in each heat moved onto the semifinals and the remaining boats went to the repechage, which competed later on in the day, giving MIT another chance to race.
On Friday afternoon, in the fourth of four heats of the repechage, Tech finished in third place with a 7:02.34, just ahead of Gonzaga University, who completed the event in fourth place with a 7:06.89. With its performance, MIT moved onto the semifinals, which were raced the following day.
MIT competed in heat three of the semifinal bright and early on Saturday. Less than halfway into the race, the Engineers took over the lead, clocking a split of 3:20.49 with 1,000m to go. MIT completed the course a few minutes later with a time of 6:49.63 to take second, dropping over 12 seconds from the previous race and once again earning a season best time. Princeton finished right before the MIT boat with a 6:47.48. With their impressive finish, Tech moved on to the Final 3 on Sunday morning, their last race of the weekend.
To end their nationals trip, Tech raced the course one last time, finishing with a time of 7:00.19, their second best time of the weekend, to take sixth in the heat. Oregon State completed the course directly before MIT with a 6:57.65, while Jacksonville took the title in 6:49.40.