PRINCETON, N.J. – The Jacksonville University men's rowing program concluded its 2016 schedule Sunday morning at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championship.
"I could not be more proud of this group," said Head Coach Marci Robles. "We knew heading into this weekend that it was going to be our greatest challenge yet, and they rose to the occasion."
The Dolphins' varsity four, comprised of Stephen McDonald, Zachary Kelso, Daniel Gleim, Ryan Springer and Travis Pulliam, qualified for the 'C' final where it placed sixth with a time of 6:58.330. Washington won the race in 6:44.990 while Columbia rowed in at second (6:46.610) and Navy third (6:47.960).
The University of California was crowned national champions after posting a combined team score of 205 points.
"We had a tough heat Friday morning, and I think it took that first race to get the jitters out," continued Robles. "The goal of the weekend was to have a more confident, more complete piece each race. They had an incredible 1900m on Friday afternoon, but we ended up getting walked through in the last few strokes. They came back Saturday morning angry and ready to attack, and it paid off. That's the best piece we've had all year, and we ended up on the right side of the finish line.
"Making the C final certainly exceeded our expectations. We started the final with a solid first 500 meters but fell flat in the second half. We're disappointed with that result but overall very pleased with the effort. This team has faced a lot of adversity this year and has come out of it stronger and better. These guys have laid the foundation for years to come and we're excited to see what the future holds."