SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Columbia heavyweight and lightweight rowing teams concluded the 2017 racing season at the IRA National Championships. The lightweight varsity eight claimed sixth place, while the lightweight varsity four took fourth place in the grand finals.
The Lions' varsity eight had the second fastest preliminary time behind No. 1 Cornell, but could not match the Big Red's speed as they went on for the gold medal. Penn and Cornell moved slightly ahead of the pack at the start of the race with the Big Red gaining separation at the halfway point. Yale, Harvard and Columbia were left to battle for bronze and just two seconds separated third from sixth. The Lions posted a time of 5:45.976, five seconds off of Cornell's winning pace.
Columbia, along with the other five crews in the grand final, could not outrace the coxed varsity four of Navy, who seemed to get stronger as the race went on. The Midshipmen inched ahead in the first 500, but put it into another gear just after the halfway point of the race. Harvard and Dartmouth went on for silver and bronze with the Lions, pulling in at 6:36.677, a length behind their Ivy League counterparts.
The straight four built an open water lead before the 1,000-meter mark. It took a strong sprint from Yale to close the gap, but the Bulldogs only pulled within a length as the Lions came up victorious in the petite final for a seventh-place overall finish in the event. Columbia turned in a final time of 6:19.563.
In the varsity eight, Columbia placed fourth in the third level final, clocking in at 5:46.019.
The varsity four took fourth in the third level final, crossing the finish line in 6:43.696. Holy Cross took the victory in the
heat, taking control early on and earning an open-water win.
Columbia took fourth in the second varsity eight third level final, posting a time of 5:56.445. The Lions were topped by the likes of Wisconsin, Navy and Syracuse.