Upsets on the Shores of Lake Mercer at 2016 IRA Championships

The 2016 Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships were a sight to behold, with impressive crews, incredible finishes and unexpected results.

Heading into this past weekend, Yale University was the favorite to take the men’s heavyweight and lightweight eight finals after consistently holding top rankings in this spring’s polls and success at the 2016 Men’s Sprints. Those credentials alone, however, would not be enough to earn an IRA title for either crew.

Strong off the start in the men’s varsity eight final, University of California won the title with a time of 5:38.71, edging second-place Yale by nearly two seconds. Princeton University finished third with a time of 5:41.88.

With an upset in the first grand final of the day, all eyes turned to the lightweight men’s eight crews. As the boats charged down the course, Columbia University commanded the lead and never looked back, winning gold with a time of 5:52.06.

Yale would go on to take second with a time of 5:54.46, and Princeton (5:58.59) rounded out the top three.

“For the team, this is a big first for Columbia,” said Columbia head coach Nich Lee Parker. “It’s a huge testament to what these guys have done.”

Top-ranked Stanford University’s lightweight women’s eight defended its reputation and national title with a time of 6:40.48. Boston University and Harvard Radcliffe College rounded out the top three in 6:43.42 and 6:47.14, respectively.

In a combined team effort, Cal took home the Ten Eyck Award for the best overall men’s team finish with 2015 points, three points ahead of Princeton.

“To get the overall team trophy, it shows the strength and depth of our team, so it’s the culmination of a very successful year for our team,” said Cal assistant coach Scott Frandsen.

Columbia took the lightweight men’s team point trophy with 35 points, while Stanford achieved the same on the women’s side, earning 34 points.

The Stanford men’s team claimed the Clayton W. Chapman Trophy for most improved team at the IRA Championships.

Full regatta results can be found here.

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