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Heavyweights End 2012-13 Season With Sixth-Place Finish At IRA Nationals

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 06/02/2013
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Princeton placed sixth in Sunday's IRA national championship grand final.
Courtesy: Princeton Crew/Tom Nowak
In the process of building his program, heavyweight head coach Greg Hughes knows his team took another step forward this year. It reached the grand finals at both the Eastern Sprints and the IRA national championships, and he can be optimistic that this will be a launching pad to a medal dock.

Princeton came into the weekend as the seventh seed at the IRA national championships, held on Lake Natoma in Sacramento, but it knocked off Stanford in a furious final sprint Saturday to reach the national final. It was unable to move up any further from that sixth spot, which is where it finished in the final race of the 2012-13 season.

"This was a quick field, and we just weren't able to get into that field racing for the medals," Hughes said. "A lot of this is all about experience for us. We learned some things here. The margin of error at this top level is so small, so I hope we don't forget this and we can grow from it."

Washington repeated as national champion in style, leading at every split and topping Harvard by more than three seconds to win in 5:39.10. The Crimson needed to dig in to hold off Brown, which is did by about half a second; Brown had the slowest opening split, but it followed with the fastest final one.

Princeton held fifth after 500 meters, but it fell back to sixth once Brown began its rally. The Tigers were within two seconds of the Top 3 midway through the race, but that deficit grew during the third split, and Princeton finished sixth in 5:49.10.

"It's tough to be right there, knocking on the door and to come up short," Hughes said. "You hope we can grow from this, so the next time we get here, we can execute better."

Reaching the final will provide strong experience for the six returning members of the varsity eight, while seniors Michael Evans, Brian Wettach and coxswain Keanan Clark can graduate with the knowledge that they helped lead Princeton back to the biggest race of the season.

"The senior class was absolutely key in the big changes we made in this program this year," Hughes said. "The impact they had on both the personality and attitude of this team was remarkable. I wish we could have them back next year, and we'll definitely miss them."

The second varsity finished just off the medal stand, as California used a late sprint to catch the Tigers for the third and final place on the dock.

Washington basically took control at the start of the race, grabbing a two-second lead after the first split and never letting any boat cut into that edge. Both Brown and Princeton moved past California by the middle point of that race, and the Tigers started to cut into the Bears’ lead with 500 meters remaining.

Unfortunately, California wasn’t finished, and the Bears posted the fastest final split in the field to race past Princeton — and almost Brown — to grab third in 5:54.78, while the Tigers took fourth in 5:54.99.

Still, it was a very positive season for Greg Hughes’ second varsity boat, which went undefeated during the regular season and won a silver medal at the Eastern Sprints. The boat is comprised of six underclassmen, with only one senior in Eric Schwarzenbach. The 2V had a trio of freshman rowers, including Patrick Eble, who competed with the varsity boat before suffering an injury midway through the season.

The freshman eight, comprised of four novice rowers from both the heavyweight and lightweight programs, took third in its petite final in 6:12.04. The Tigers were third at the opening split and never lost that spot, finishing ahead of George Washington in 6:12.04 to finish ninth in the event.

The varsity four also placed third in its third-level final, finishing in 6:55.32 to hold off Drexel.

Varsity Eight Grand Final
Washington 5:39.68
Harvard 5:42.25
Brown 5:42.54
Northeastern 5:42.72
California 5:45.07
Princeton 5:49.55

Second Varsity Eight Grand Final
Washington 5:51.07
Brown 5:54.16
California 5:54.78
Princeton 5:54.99
Boston University 5:55.41
Northeastern 6:01.68

Freshman Eight Petite Final
Wisconsin 6:06.65
Navy 6:08.46
Princeton 6:12.04
George Washington 6:12.80
Dartmouth 6:13.63
Drexel 6:14.89

Varsity Four Third-Level Final
Jacksonville 6:49.40
Northeastern 6:52.29
Princeton 6:55.32
Drexel 6:56.12
Oregon State 6:57.65
MIT 7:00.19

Varsity Eight
C – Keanan Clark
S – William Gillis
7 – Patrick Konttinen
6 – Michael Evans
5 – Brian Wettach
4 - Tommy Lindeman
3 – Timothy Masters
2 – James Hamp
B – Jason Kopelman

Second Varsity
C – Jameson Pesce
S - Fred Vystavel
7 – Eric Schwarzenbach
6 – Dave Mackasey
5 – Patrick Eble
4 – Martin Barakso
3 – Sebastian Grimberg
2 - Mark Dillon
B – David Octeau

Freshman Eight
C - Jill Barton
S - Adam Maleh
7 - Ryan Barker
6 - Ed Northrop
5 - Mike Lindburg
4 – George Bradbury
3 – Isaiah Brown
2 - Christian Wawrzonek
B – Sam Jordan

C – Jonathan Wu
S – Richard Johnston
3 – Charlie Kelly
2 – Ryan Meder
B – Jacques Singer-Emory







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