Both men’s crews medal at IRA National Championships

By Will Horvath | Posted on, 9:36 p.m.
The Yale heavyweight crew edged Washington by less than a tenth of a second in the Grand Final. (Yale Athletics)

The Yale heavyweight and lightweight crew teams raced this past weekend at the IRA National Championships. The heavyweights won a historic national championship in a nail-biting finish, while the lightweights placed third.

Heavyweight Crew

On Sunday, the Yale men’s crew team accomplished something no crew in Yale’s storied history had done — win an IRA Varsity Eight national championship.

To do so, coxswain Grant Louis ’18, stroke Stephan Riemekasten ’17, Sholto Carnegie ’18, Charlie Elwes ’19, Paul Jacquot ’18, Nate Goodman ’17, Thomas Digby ’20, Jonathan Winter ’20 and bow Ollie Wynne-Griffith ’17 had to withstand an early charge by California and a late push by Washington. Yale edged Washington by less than a tenth of a second, finishing with a time of 5:29.900 to the Huskies’ 5:29.969. Harvard, Princeton, California and Brown followed in that order.

Yale’s Second Varsity, made up of coxswain Woods Connell ’20, stroke Seth Bartlett ’19, Kevin Kiernan ’18, Leonard Jenkins ’20, John Risbergs ’17, Thomas Beck ’20, Garth Holden ’20, Henry Kamp ’20 and bow Peter Tortora ’17 finished fourth in its race behind Washington, California, and Princeton. The Elis finished a little more than two seconds behind the first place Huskies.

Coxswain Thomas Fant ’19, stroke Thomas Bischoff ’20, Cole Tilden ’18, Bryan Devries ’18, Will Powers ’20, Samuel Helms ’18, Angus Morrison ’19, Alex Lindsay ’18, and Bow Edgar Staunton ’20 rowed for the Third Varsity and placed fourth behind Washington, Harvard, and California.

The results for all three boats represented improvements on their performances from the 2016 championships, where the Varsity Eight finished second, the Second Varsity finished seventh and the Third Varsity finished ninth.

The Yale heavyweight crew will race next weekend against Harvard in the oldest intercollegiate sporting event in the United States.

Lightweight Crew

The Lightweight crew’s Varsity Eight won a bronze medal on Sunday, finishing third in an all–Ivy League race behind Cornell and Penn. The Bulldogs, with a time of 5:43.07, finished about three seconds behind the Big Red (5:40.172) and two seconds behind the Quakers (5:40.172). That third place finish marked an improvement over the Eastern Sprints Regatta, where the Elis finished sixth in Ivy competition.

The Bulldogs also competed with coxed and coxless fours. The coxed four did not qualify for the Grand Final but finished first in its final race ahead of Colgate, Cornell, MIT and Georgetown. The coxless four also did not qualify for the Grand Final, and finished second behind Columbia in its final race.