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Angelo Roncalli
05-20-2009, 03:36 PM
Mens crew is not an NCAA sport, unlike womens crew. Mens crew is governed by the IRA (Intercollegiate Rowing Association). The IRA championships are the equivalent of the NCAA tournament for crew.

GU will be sending 3 boats to the IRA championships next month. This is a significant accomplishment for the GU rowing program. GU's varsity boat is
currently ranked #19 in the nation.


SPOKANE, Wash. – (May 20, 2009 – www.GoZags.com) Gonzaga University men’s rowing team is taking three crews to the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships (IRA’s) after two boats earned automatic berths and the other was selected as an at-large team. This is the first time in school history the Zags are sending three 8+ to the championships. Gonzaga is also one of 12 crews to have all three 8+ earn a spot; with the only other West Coast schools being the University of Washington, Stanford University and the University of California.

“I think it is a great accomplishment that we are putting in three eights,” stated head coach Dan Gehn. “It was an early season goal of the teams. With that being met, now the challenge is to realize the competitive level of this race is far above the WIRA Championships.”

The Bulldogs will be making their 12th appearance in the IRA National Championships, and sixth-consecutive appearance. The championships shift coasts this season in their inaugural West Coast version of the regatta. Races will be held on the same Lake Natoma course in Sacramento, Calif., that Gonzaga raced during the WIRA Championships earlier this month.

The Zags earned an automatic berth in the IRA’s in both the Varsity 8+, currently ranked 19th in the latest USRowing Coaches’ Top 20 poll, and Second Varsity 8+ after both finished first at the WIRA Championships.

In addition to both the Varsity 8+ and Second Varsity 8+, the Bulldogs will send their Freshman 8+, who earned an at-large bid on Tuesday.

This is the second year Gonzaga will send a Varsity 8+ boat to the championships, having earned its first bid last season. The Second Varsity 8+ will appear in the championships for the first-time ever in school history. The Freshman 8+ finished 13th at the IRA’s in 2008 and 16th in 2006.

The Varsity 8+ has competed against five of the 21 other crews in the championships, while the Second Varsity 8+ has faced-off against one of 13 competing boats and the Freshman 8+ has seen four of the 17 crews.

The IRA’s are scheduled for the weekend of June 4-6 on Lake Natoma in Sacramento, Calif. Visit row2k.com for more information on the IRA Championships.