June 4, 2004
CAMDEN, NJ - Loyola's men's novice-four boat took 23rd at the IRA National Championships this weekend as the Greyhounds rowed in the first two rounds of competition on Thursday and Friday on the Cooper River.
In Heat One on Thursday morning, Loyola had trouble putting together a solid wire-to-wire effort, "probably because they were a bit too tense and thinking more about the outcome instead of the process," according to Head Coach Al Ramirez, and finished in sixth place, forcing them to compete in the repechages heat.
Despite rowing in the repechages heat, the Greyhounds still had a chance to advance to the semifinals. However, Loyola would again have a rough start and never find a rhythm en route to taking sixth place.
On Friday, as the 'Hounds were competing for the 18th slot nationally, Loyola rowed well, but took a sixth place finish.
While the Greyhounds had some shaky performances against the nation's top teams this weekend, Ramirez is very happy with a season-ending national ranking of 23 and looking forward to this group's future, which seems very promising.
"This field was just a fast field, a really fast field," said Ramirez. "But, it was a very solid season for the men's freshmen team -- the best men's freshmen season in Loyola history. Our guys were able to gain valuable experience over the last two days and got a good idea of where they need to be, both mentally and physically, in order to compete on the national level. The experience will definitely help us in the future and we're very positive as we move on."
For complete results on the IRA Championships, please check out www.row2k.com.