BRIEF: Men and lightweight women head to New Jersey for IRA nationals

Today marks the start of the IRA National Championship regatta in Cherry Hill, N.J. Both the Stanford men’s rowing team and women’s lightweight rowing team will compete at the event, which will last three days.

The men’s team, led by head coach Craig Amerkhanian, earned four bronze medals in the Pac-10 Championships last month by placing third in the Varsity Four, I Varsity Eight, II Varsity Eight and Frosh Eight. All four races ended with Washington taking first and Cal taking second. Stanford’s I Varsity Eight is currently ranked No. 12 in the U.S. Rowing Collegiate poll.

The women’s lightweight team, led by head coach Al Acosta, controlled the eight-person competition at the WIRA Championships. The “A” and “B” teams placed first and second overall, ahead of teams from Willamette, Long Beach State, UC-San Diego and Washington State. The Cardinal novice four placed sixth. Stanford’s Varsity Eight is currently ranked No. 2 in the USRowing Collegiate poll.

Competition at the regatta begins bright and early at 5:30 a.m. PST.