June 3, 2014
WASHINGTON – The Georgetown University men’s crew had both its heavyweight and lightweight four boats compete this past weekend at the Interscholastic Rowing Association's (IRA) National Championships, held at Lake Mercer in Princeton Junction, N.J. The Hoyas came away with a fifth-place finish overall in the heavyweight varsity four while the lightweight four placed fourth in the petite final.
Georgetown’s heavyweight four won its opening heat on Friday, crossing the finish line in 6:37.472 to beat out the boat from Wisconsin (6:39.710) by a two-second margin. The win put the Hoyas into Saturday’s semifinals, where they placed third in 6:43.483. The Blue & Gray finished ahead of crews from Navy, Northeastern and Colgate to advance to the grand final.
In the grand final, the Hoyas improved their time from the semifinals by 10 seconds, crossing the finish line in 6:33.241. Georgetown started strong in the first 500 meters, keeping up with the leaders. However, the pace of the leading crews quickened at the halfway mark and the top three places were soon out of reach for the Hoyas as they finished in fifth place. The lineup consisted of stroke Benjamin Holtzmuller (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day), Philip Miller (Greenwich, Conn./Brunswick), Robert Danzinger (Lincoln, Mass./Belmont Hill), bow Hayden Pascal (Greenwich, Conn./Taft School) and coxswain Colette Gilner (Sandy Springs, Md./Stone Ridge).
GU’s lightweight crew finished fourth in its Friday heat in a time of 6:44.972. The Hoyas were just three seconds out of third place and earning a spot into the grand final. In the petite final, Georgetown crossed the finish line in 6:57.528, placing fourth. The Blue & Gray were less than a second behind the boat from MIT (6:56.871) and finished ahead of Drexel. The lightweight lineup was stroke Connor Smith (Northfield, Ill./New Trier), Luke Prioleau (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto), Gerard Thiers (Langhorne, Pa./LaSalle College HS) and John Walsh (Riverdale, N.Y./Fordham Prep).
This weekend was the final event for longtime Men’s Crew Head Coach Tony Johnson, who last month announced his retirement upon the end of the season. This year was Johnson’s 25th season directing Georgetown's crew program and he has coached on the Hilltop for 28 years total, including his first stint from 1967-69. He will continue to serve as coach emeritus.