All Boats Medal at IRA National Championships for First Time
LAKE NATOMA, Calif. – Yale won its third straight IRA national title today, and all boats medaled for the first time in Yale's history. The 1V won gold, the 2V won bronze, and the 3V won silver.
After winning the heat and semi, the No. 1 ranked first varsity rowed out of lane two in today's final. The Bulldogs launched off the start establishing an early lead over the Washington Huskies. By the first 500, the Elis had a half-length lead as the two crews moved away from the remainder of the field. At the 1000 mark, Yale was bow to stern over Washington. Despite a push by the Huskies, Yale maintained its lead, finishing just over 3 seconds ahead of Washington.
Yale finished in 5:32.9 followed by Washington in 5:36.1 and Harvard in 5:37.4.
The victory marks Yale's third consecutive national title. Washington was the last school to win three straight, after capturing the Varsity Challenge Cup from 2011-2015. The last Ivy League school to have three consecutive national titles was Harvard, from 2003-2005.
Racing conditions were near perfect this morning, concluding three days of pristine water.
Charlie Elwes '19, a senior who rowed 6-seat in the 1V, is now a 3-time IRA champion. "This is the best one yet," Elwes remarked. "I think my sophomore year was pretty special, which was the first year we ever won. But this year was something different. Senior year has just been all about the team. Being in this boat for four years and winning three national titles, is awesome. But it makes it all the more special when all the crews we bring medal."
The 2V had an impressive race as well, finishing third over Harvard after a photo finish. Despite losing to Harvard by a length in the semis, Yale had an aggressive race and overtook the Crimson in the second half of the race. After a fierce sprint, Yale crossed the line in 5:42.6 in front of Harvard, which finished in 5:42.8.
Captain Angus Morrison '19, who rowed 7-seat in the 2V, said, "it keeps getting better every year, and it's just another great team result. This is what I love about this squad, that feeling when we can all celebrate each other's performances. It's just fantastic."
After winning the EARC Sprints two weeks ago, the 3V maintained its dominance over East Coast crews falling only to the Washington Huskies after a hard fought race. Yale finished second in 5:46.1. Harvard finished in third.
Assistant coach Mike Gennaro has coached at Yale since the 2016-17 season, when Yale first won the IRA Championships. "It's the same process and the same goal each year," he said. "I'm just so proud of these guys. I try to keep my expectations simple, and I work with Steve [Gladstone] to make sure the guys race hard every day. If they do that, we will be proud of the result whether it's first, second, or last. And today, all three crews raced hard, and we got honest results. We are happy about that."
Steve Gladstone, Yale's Craig W. Johnson '68 Head Coach, said, "I couldn't be more pleased with today's results. Every one of our boats raced, and raced hard."
Today's win marks Gladstone's 14th national title. He is now tied with the record owned by Charles Courtney, who coached Cornell from 1883 to 1920 and won 14 national titles. He now turns his attention to next week's races against Harvard.
The Bulldogs, competing in the fourth IRA event held at Lake Natoma, had an almost 5-second advantage over third-place Harvard in the 2,000-meter race. The two fly back to the East to compete against each other in the 4-mile Yale-Harvard Regatta on the Thames River in New London on June 7-8. The 4V combo race takes place Friday, June 7. The top 3 boats race Saturday, June 8.
You can watch today's racing via USRowing's YouTube channel here.
Full results can be found here.
4- Jack Lopas
5- Thomas Digby
Coxswain- Vlad Saigau
1- Miles Beeson
3- Will Powers
6- Henry Kamp
7- Angus Morrison (captain)
8- Thomas Beck
Coxswain- Woods Connell
1- Nick Rusher
2- Daire Lynch
3- Will Acken
5- Garth Holden
7- Jack Morton
8- Nikola Bakoc
Coxswain- Thomas Fant
By Izak Epstein '19, Sports Publicity Assistant. You can contact him at email@example.com