LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego men's rowing team will take part in the 111th Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championship Regatta this week in Rancho Cordova, Calif., just outside of Sacramento.
UCSD will send Varsity 8 and JV 8 crews to compete against the top collegiate programs in the nation at the IRA Championships, which run May 31-June 2 on Lake Natoma. The Tritons are making their third overall appearance and first since 2011.
The Varsity 8 crew will consist of Zach Antunes, Zack Attaran, Mark Bennett, John Buda, coxswain Sean Dougherty, Scott Kennedy, Brendan Stainfield, Forrest Sundquist and Kyle Wilson.
The JV 8 crew is comprised of coxswain Kasey Benjamin, Austin Dahlenburg, Tom Forter, Erik Goebel, Jason Heinen, Daniel Mahan, Jack Maxson, Kendall Pick and Chris Weir.
UCSD's Varsity 8 will get things started on Friday, May 31 at 8:15 a.m. in the second of four heats, which also includes Georgetown, Harvard, Navy, Oregon State and Princeton. Heat one is made up of Brown, Cal, Cornell, Florida Institute of Technology, Gonzaga and Syracuse. Heat three is Boston University, Dartmouth, Drexel, Washington and Yale, while the fourth heat includes George Washington, Holy Cross, Northeastern, Penn, Stanford and Wisconsin.
In the JV 8, the Tritons first go up against Brown, Holy Cross, Wisconsin and Yale in the second of four heats at 9:15 a.m. on Friday. In the first heat are Boston University, Cornell, Dartmouth, Oregon State and Washington. Heat three is Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Stanford and heat four consists of Cal, Gonzaga, Navy, Northeastern and Syracuse.
The winners of each heat advance directly to Saturday's seminfials while the rest of the crews will move on to repechage races Friday afternoon. The grand, petit, third-level and fourth-level (Varsity 8 only) finals will be contested Sunday.
Washington has won the last six team titles at the IRA Championship Regatta, which is the oldest college rowing championship in the United States.
UCSD also qualified for the IRA Championships in 2009 and 2011. On Cooper Lake in New Jersey in 2011, the Novice 8 competed in the petit final, while the Varsity and JV boats rowed in third-level finals. On Lake Natoma in 2009, the JV and Novice crews ran in third-level finals and the Varsity wrapped up the regatta in the fourth-level final.
UCSD is quite familiar with Lake Natoma this season. In late April, the Tritons advanced all four of their boats to grand finals at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championships. UCSD came away with a pair of medals, including silver in Varsity 8 and bronze in JV 8. The second-place finish solidified UCSD's invitation to the IRA Championships. Attaran and Dougherty were named First Team All-WIRA, while Goebel was selected to the league's second team.
The 2013 IRA Championship Regatta can be followed via live video with a total of 15 hours of action set to be broadcast free of charge. For a complete schedule of races, click here.
-- UCSDtritons.com --