Columbia Heavyweights Open IRA National Championships on Thursday
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

NEW YORK – After two weeks of training after the Eastern Sprints, the Columbia heavyweight rowing team will compete in the 2011 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships on the Cooper River in Camden County, N.J.  Racing begins on Thursday, June 2 with qualifying heats starting at 8 a.m.

Columbia's varsity eight and freshman eight will row at the IRA Regatta.  The varsity eight will begin its day on Thursday in the third qualifying heat at 8:30 a.m.  The freshman eight will also compete in the third heat in its section at 10 a.m.

Based on the results of the qualifying heats, crews will advance to the semifinals on Friday, June 3, beginning at 8:30 a.m. or the repechages on Thursday afternoon, beginning at 2 p.m.  The IRA National Championships finals will take place on Saturday, June 4.

Fans can view a webcast of the IRA National Championships and the ECAC will provide an audio cast of the weekend's races live on  Listeners without web access may tune in to the IRA Championships via telephone connection at 508-534-7389.

Here is the schedule of Thursday's qualifying heats:

Varsity Eights
First two boats in each heat to semifinals; rest to repechages

Heat 1 – 8 a.m.
Cornell, Syracuse, Washington, Brown, Stanford, Gonzaga

Heat 2 – 8:15 a.m.
Georgetown, Boston U., Cal, Wisconsin, Navy, UC San Diego

Heat 3 – 8:30 a.m.
COLUMBIA, Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, Penn

Freshman Eights
First two boats in each heat to semifinals; rest to repechages

Heat 1 – 9:30 a.m.
Penn, Wisconsin, Washington, Princeton, Yale, Gonzaga

Heat 2 – 9:45 a.m.
Dartmouth, Brown, Harvard, Navy, Syracuse, UC San Diego

Heat 3 – 10 a.m.
COLUMBIA, Boston U., Cal, Cornell, Stanford