RACE COMMENTATOR: Now we'll shift into the big race of the day for the Lightweight men. Due up in less than two minutes, the grand final of Lightweight Men's Eights. Lane 1-- Pennsylvania; lane 2-- Harvard; lane 3-- Cornell; lane 4-- Columbia; lane 5-- Princeton; lane 6-- Yale. Always in question the-- because, so often, and it's case again that we have the EARC Lightweight Eights redo from the sprints. They're the same crews in the final here. Not exactly the same six crews, but the same crews race again it seems like year after year after year.
So Cornell has been so strong all year, and won the sprints. We'll see if they can hold on to it here in the grand final of the IRA. Here we go. We're inside of a minute. So we should have a polling very shortly here-- Penn, Harvard, Cornell, Columbia, Princeton, Yale.
At the sprints, Cornell won it. Columbia was second. Princeton was third. We'll see if form holds here in the IRA final. Very calm up there at the start, boats are all set up middle of their lanes. Nobody's moving. They're just waiting for the polling.
RACE ANNOUNCER: Pennsylvania.
RACE COMMENTATOR: Here where go.
RACE ANNOUNCER: Harvard, Cornell, Columbia, Princeton, Yale, attention.
RACE COMMENTATOR: We're off! Cornell got that second stroke in fast. So did Columbia. Princeton's off at 45. They haven't finished winding it up yet. Columbia 46, now they're winding it all the way up. Cornell 46, very sharp, all these crews look really good coming off the line.
Harvard a nice start, 46 and 1/2. Well, Fred Shock will take this up very shortly. And he will give you an order here, and give you some rates. But he's inheriting a very close race. Over to Fred.
FRED SHOCK: And Columbia, Princeton, Cornell, Harvard, all out of the blocks very quickly, 45 plus. Looks like they've shifted. And all the crews are running level-- Yale and Penn right with everybody. And Columbia looks like they and Princeton are the early leaders.
Columbia a very close second to Cornell at the eastern sprints. And now Cornell's coming back a little bit. 38 plus for Cornell, one seat up on Columbia. Columbia has a couple on Princeton.
And those three have just separated themselves in the first 500 from Harvard, Yale, and Penn. Harvard, Yale, and Penn are running even. Cornell has two seats up on the Lions. And Columbia has three or two up on Princeton.
Cornell, of course, defending national champion that's had a perfect season. But Columbia has been ever so close. And this is going to be a great race all the way down.
Columbia taking a 10 right there to try and draw back. They're only a seat apart now. Through the first 500, it's Cornell, but just by two seats over Columbia.
And Cornell looks like they may be taking a press here. 38 and a half, maybe that's sort of their base. Columbia right there, right there, Princeton back now four seats.
Harvard in fourth. Harvard in fourth, Yale fifth, Penn sixth. Harvard two seats up on Penn. Check that, Harvard is two seats up on Yale. I'd say Yale and Harvard are level.
And it's really a great battle here at 1,000. Cornell [AUDIO LOST] 84 on Columbia. Columbia doesn't seem to have an answer. It's just the same speed.
Now Columbia's going to take a push. Princeton is spreading out, Princeton in third, Yale-- Harvard has come up now to challenge Princeton for third. That's kind of what they did last year. They had a tremendous sprint last year, the Harvard Lightweights.
And we'll see if they uncork one again. Kind of let the leaders tire themselves out. And then Harvard slips in there at the end.
Now Cornell, the Big Red could be your national champions again. 750 to go, yeah man, it's stroke on bow of Columbia. And Harvard is, I think, ahead of Princeton for third. Harvard has been very stealth like out here in lane two.
And Princeton tried to go early with Columbia and Cornell. Harvard sat back. And now they're reaping the rewards of being a little more cautious in that first 1000.
Harvard moving on Columbia. Harvard coming up. Cornell looking strong and undefeatable.
Cornell, coxswain on bow. 500 meter to go. This is the big one for the Lightweights. Wouldn't they love to repeat as national champions and start a mini dynasty?
It's not five in a row like Washington. But Chris Kerber on the shore I'm sure will take two in a row. And here they come.
They've got to wind it up. And Harvard is only three or floor seats back of Columbia. If Columbia doesn't have a speed shift, Harvard will take silver.
Harvard's up to 41 with 300 meters to go. We'll take it as far as we can. And it's Harvard charging on Columbia.
Harvard could come up and get silver. Columbia coxswain looking over. And Princeton is definitely fourth. It's Harvard putting in the strokes.
It's going to be down to the wire with Harvard and Columbia. Cornell's going to win it. Can the Crimson catch the Lions? They did it last year. They came from way back.
RACE COMMENTATOR: We've got Cornell well out in front. Columbia trying to hold off Harvard. Cornell-- Cornell by a length. It'll be Cornell, Columbia, Harvard, Princeton-- now, close here, but Yale, now Penn, now.
Cornell first, Columbia second, Harvard third, we'll want those three crews into the finish line area probably in reverse order-- Harvard, then Columbia, then Cornell. We will get you those unofficial results very shortly. So you'll have those times. But that's the order of finish-- Cornell, Columbia, Harvard.
While we're waiting for the results from the varsity Lightweight Eights Grand Final, bring your attention to the Jumbotron. And to those of you at home, to the Clayton Chapman Award. And this award is a very, very nice award not started all that many years ago.
But the idea here is it is awarded annually to the crew which improves the most as a team from the previous year. And you can see on the board that this year's winner, the University of Pennsylvania. If you followed the racing here this morning, you can see the Quakers had a great morning really overall, and have advanced the furthest from last year's performance to this year.
So to Greg Meyer, his coaching staff, and all the Penn rowers, congratulations on winning the 2015 Clayton Chapman Award. Let me run them down. Penn won, second place Dartmouth, third place Harvard, fourth place Hobart-- good on you, Hobart-- fifth place Yale, sixth place Boston University, and seventh place Princeton, the Clayton Chapman Award for the most improved varsity heavyweight team from the regatta of 2014 to the regatta of 2015.
We have for you now the unofficial results of the Men's Lightweight Eight Grand Final. First place-- Cornell, 5:38.989; second place-- Columbia, 5:41.042; third place-- Harvard, a hard- charging Harvard crew there, 5:41.965; fourth place-- Princeton, 5:44.708; fifth place-- Yale, 5:49.146; and sixth place-- Pennsylvania, 5:50.902.
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The Cornell lightweight varsity eight capped its second straight undefeated season and repeated as national champions with a dominating victory May 31, 2015 at the 113th edition of the IRA Regatta, held on Mercer Lake.