WEST WINDSOR, N.J. (Mercer Lake) – The Bucknell women’s rowing lightweight eight made its ninth consecutive appearance in the Grand Final of the IRA National Championship Sunday and finished in a close third place behind Radcliffe and Stanford in a race where the top three spots crossed the finish line within a second of each other.

Bucknell posted a time of 6:42.584, while first-place Radcliffe timed in at 6:41.592 and Stanford recorded a time of 6:42.278. Radcliffe’s win snapped a streak of four consecutive Stanford gold medals at the event.

This year’s bronze medal marked the fourth-best finish at the IRA Regatta for the Bison since they started competing at the event in 2006. Bucknell last finished higher when it was runner-up in 2012.

The Bison earned a spot in Sunday’s Grand Final thanks to a second-place showing to Stanford in Saturday’s heat.

Bucknell, Georgetown, Princeton, Radcliffe, Stanford and Wisconsin had made up the six-boat Grand Final at the IRA Regatta each of the last seven years, but Boston Uninversity qualified for this year’s final ahead of Georgetown. Stanford has four gold medals, Wisconsin three and Bucknell and Radcliffe one apiece since the Bison started competing at the event in 2006.

Varsity Lightweight Eight Results
Heat 2 (top 2 to Grand Final) (Saturday)
1. Stanford – 6:45.764
2. Bucknell – 6:48.332
3. Wisconsin – 6:59.283
4. MIT – 7:05.822

Grand Final (Sunday)
1. Radcliffe – 6:41.592
2. Stanford – 6:42.278
3. Bucknell – 6:42.584
4. Boston U. – 6:48.720
5. Princeton – 6:53.945
6. Wisconsin – 6:54.248

Boat Lineup
Kathleen Hickes (coxswain)
Victoria Catharine (8)
Kirsten Fitch (7)
Christina Hanlon (6)
Jennifer Fish (5)
Helena Craig (4)
Kathryn Oram (3)
Kendall Balasiano (2)
Charlotte Brace (1)

Bucknell Lightweight Eight Results at IRA National Championship Regatta
2006: 6th
2007: 1st
2008: 4th
2009: 2nd
2010: 5th
2011: 5th
2012: 2nd
2013: 4th
2014: 3rd