June 1, 2012
CHERRY HILL, N.J. (Cooper River) - The Bucknell women's rowing lightweight eight has earned a spot in the Grand Final at the IRA National Championship Regatta for a seventh consecutive year. The Bison finished second in their four-boat heat Friday morning to automatically advance to Saturday's Grand Final.
The top two boats in Bucknell's heat earned automatic berths in the Grand Final and the Bison finished second to Stanford, the winner of the 2010 and 2011 IRA titles. Bucknell and Stanford will be joined in the Grand Final by Wisconsin and Radcliffe. Georgetown, MIT and Princeton will race in Friday afternoon's repechage to decide the final two Grand Final participants.
Bucknell, Georgetown, Princeton, Radcliffe, Stanford and Wisconsin have made up the six-boat Grand Final at the IRA Regatta each of the last five years. Wisconsin has won three crowns, Stanford two and Bucknell one since the Bison started competing at the event in 2006.
Bucknell's path to this year's Grand Final was easier than in 2011 as the Bison finished third in their heat last year, forcing it to race in the repechage.
Bucknell has had plenty of success at the IRA Regatta in recent years with the lightweight eight finishing sixth in 2006, first in 2007, fourth in 2008, second in 2009 and fifth in 2010 and 2011.
Saturday's Grand Final is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Varsity Lightweight Eight Results
Heat 2 (top 2 to Grand Final)
1. Stanford - 7:42.575
2. Bucknell - 7:55.965
3. Princeton - 8:21.263
4. MIT - 8:36.751