Men’s Crew looks to compete at IRA National Championship this weekend

The men’s crew team is set to compete in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship this weekend on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, New Jersey.

The Owls will enter two boats in this year’s competition after the Varsity Lightweight 4 and Varsity Heavyweight 4 both qualified.

The Varsity Lightweight 4 received an automatic bid into the event and the No. 1 seed in their race after winning the grand finals at the Dad Vail Regatta on May 9.

The Varsity Heavyweight 4, which placed sixth in the quarterfinals at the Dad Vail Regatta, did not receive an automatic bid and had to apply to compete at the IRA National Championship.

The boat was voted in by the IRA committee, but the Owls will use a different lineup at this weekend’s event from the one that competed for the team throughout the season.

After two weeks of competition to determine the fastest rowers, the new Owls competing for the Varsity Heavyweight 4 this weekend will be sophomore coxswain Dante Romeo, junior stroke man Tom Robbins, junior Charles Anderson in seat-3, freshman Collin McKinney in seat-2 and junior bowman Ryan Dartnell.

“We took the best guys out of the second Varsity 8 and all the guys out of the Varsity 8 and lump them altogether into one selection group and try to find the best four guys,” Perkins said.

At the IRA National Championship, Temple will face-off against qualifying crews from teams around the country, such as Drexel University, Yale University, Oklahoma City University, Harvard University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the 2014 IRA National Champions — the University of Washington.

Despite the Varsity Lightweight 4 boat’s success this season, White said it will not be easy for the team to secure a victory.

“Hopefully, the Lightweight can win but it is going to be tough,” White said.

The IRA begins Thursday, but the Varsity Heavyweight 4 does not begin competition until Friday. The Lightweight 4 begins competition on Saturday.

Danielle Nelson can be reached at or on twitter @Dan_Nels.