Exeter Crew NEIRA Preview

This Saturday, the first, second and third boys and girls eights will return to Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, MA for the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association (NEIRA) Championships. Crews will row the 1500 meter racecourse twice: first in the morning heats, and again in the afternoon finals. The heat assignments are based on each boat’s seed: a ranking, based on the boat’s performance in races during the regular season, determined by the coaches on the NEIRA seeding committee. A boat’s performance in this heat determines whether they will row in the finals and which lane they will be placed in. The below table recaps each boat’s record throughout the season and their seed for the NEIRA regatta, as well as the time of that boat’s heat and presumptive grand final.

  B1 G1 B2 G2 B3 G3
E/A Invit. (4/19) 1st 1st 2nd 1st 3rd 1st
Kent (4/26) 1st 1st 2nd 1st 4th 1st
Hanover (5/3) 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
Andover (5/10) 1st 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st
St. Paul’s (5/17) 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st
NEIRA Seed 1 2 3 1 6 1
Heat Time/Lane 12:20/1 1:00/1 10:50/2 11:00/1 9:30/3 9:40/1
Finals Time 5:10 5:30 4:00 4:10 3:20 3:30

In addition to the gold, silver and bronze medals awarded to each of the top three boats in the finals, a number of ceremonial trophies are awarded on an annual basis to the winning crews. The Father Frederick H. Sill Bowl and Dixon “Tote” Walker Cup are awarded to the boys first and second eights respectively, as well as the Kenneth F. Burns Trophy and Converse Prudden Prize to the girls first and second eights respectively.

In addition to the medals and ceremonial event trophies, the Hart Perry Cup and Gilcreast Bowl are awarded to the programs which earned the most points in the boys and girls eights events respectively. Points are awarded based on the place in which each boat finishes in its event–with more points alloted from more competitive events.

Looking back to Exeter’s past results at the NEIRA, the boys first eight last won first place in the grand in 2002. The undefeated record of this year’s B1 puts such another championship within reach. On the girls side, the first eight has taken first place in the grand finals for the past two years. The nearly undefeated record of this year’s G1 puts a “three-peat” within reach. By placing first or second at the NEIRA, the boys and girls first eights qualify for the USRowing Youth National Championship at Harsha Lake outside Cincinatti, Ohio. The girls first eight placed fourth and sixth at nationals in 2007 and 2006 respectively. The boys placed fourth at nationals in 2002, as well as placing first in 1996–one of only two NEIRA crews to ever win at nationals (the other is the 1995 St. Paul’s School boys eight)

The NEIRA is the most significant and most exciting regatta all year and culminates countless hundreds of hours of hard work on the part of each member of the team. On behalf of the program, I hope that you choose to attend and support the athletes and coaches who contribute so much to Exeter Crew, 144 years after the program was founded. A few reminders regarding the regatta:

  • Crews will launch from Quinsigamond State Park near the finish line. Click here for directions.
  • Parking is limited along Lake Avenue and generally not allowed in the Quinsigamond State Park lot. However, plenty of parking is available only a few minutes West at the University of Massachusetts Medical School guest parking lot. All day parking costs $4.
  • The entrance fee for the regatta is $5. Included with entrance fee is an official regatta program.
  • A printable results sheet is available for download here.
  • Additional rowing merchandise and memorabilia will be available from vendors at the regatta.

Best of luck to all crews!

Update: Photos from the christenings of the Gilcreast and the Gilmartin are now available in the Photo Gallery, in addition to photos from this season’s events. The entire gallery has also been reorganized, resulting in faster load times for all pictures.

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