BOSTON, Mass. – The Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) has announced the recipients of the regatta’s postseason awards. The member coaches of the Association selected all three national champion crews and coaches as the respective Coaches and Crews of the Year.
For the heavyweights it was Yale’s Varsity Eight and Steve Gladstone taking home the honors while the men’s lightweight recognized Cornell’s Varsity Eight and Chris Kerber. The Stanford Varsity Eight and Kate Bertko were honored by the women’s lightweight contingent.
The Eli crew and coach swept the heavyweight awards after taking home gold for the third straight year in the Varsity Eight Grand Final. The crew crossed the line at 5:32.939 to re-take ownership of the Varsity Challenge Cup.
For Gladstone it was his third Coach of the Year nod on the year after being honored by his Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges (EARC) peers and fellow Ivy League Coaches earlier this spring. The varsity eight win marks Gladstone's 14th IRA national title as a head coach, tied with legendary Cornell coach, Charles Courtney, for most ever won by a single coach.
The Big Red Varsity Eight were voted Lightweight Crew of the Year after capping their season by earning the Men’s Lightweight National Crown with a time of 5:44.426. The victory was a bounce-back for Cornell after they were relegated to the Petite Final at Men’s Sprints, marking their only loss of the 2019 season.
Chris Kerber earned the Men’s Lightweight Coach of the Year nod from his peers after helping his crew to regroup after a disappointing finish in Worcester and focus on the road ahead. The eight came out strong in the heats and never looked back. His lightweight four also medaled at IRA, earning bronze in a tightly contest Grand Final.
Stanford University and Head Coach Kate Bertko swept the Women’s Lightweight award categories after the Varsity Eight continued its dominance with a winning time of 6:32.825. It was the fifth straight National Title for the Varsity Eight and their ninth crown in the past decade.
In Bertko’s third year at the helm, the Cardinal lightweight program continues to be viewed national power. The team captured the IRA overall points trophy for the fifth consecutive year thanks to their gold medal performances in the Varsity Eight and Varsity Four.