The 2018 IRA National Championship came to a disappointing close on Sunday with high winds making Mercer Lake unable to host the majority of races. The Navy heavyweight program was only allowed to participate in one race on Sunday, the first varsity eight competition. At the conclusion of the Third Level C Final, the Mids finished 15th overall in the nation.
The C Final on Sunday involved six teams racing for national positions 13 through 18. Faced with difficult water conditions on Mercer Lake, Navy’s first varsity eight crew found itself in a one-on-one battle over the 2,000-meter course with Penn. While Cornell was in control and finished first at 6:58.236, the Mids and Quakers finished 0.809 apart in second and third position. Unfortunately for Navy, Penn overtook its boat down the stretch with a time of 7:04.459. Navy clocked in at 7:05.268. The rest of the field in the C Final went Florida Tech (7:12.403), St. Joseph’s (7:12.403) and George Washington (7:20.151).
The Third Level C Finals for Navy’s second and third varsity eight crews, as well as its first varsity four were canceled.
“I thought our varsity raced hard in tough conditions today,” remarked head coach Rob Friedrich. “They had a seat or two advantage over Penn in the third 500 but weren’t able to hold it. Still, they finished one spot better than last year and we are returning the entire boat for 2018-19.
“The real disappointment today was that our 2V, 3V, and V4+ did not get a chance to race. We thought they all had a great shot to win their finals and finish the season on a strong note. Our seniors lost that final chance to race for Navy and I know they would have finished well. We are proud to see them graduate from the team and move on to serve our country in the Navy and Marine Corps.”
In the Ten Eyck team point standings, Washington finished as the 2018 IRA National Champions. The Huskies defended their title from 2017 and held off Yale and California, who placed second and third overall in the standings.
Sunday’s championship action concludes the 2017-18 season for Navy.