PNRA/Mercer Gears Up To Host National Rowing Championships

IRA Crowd

May 19, 2016

West Windsor, NJ – The waters of Mercer Lake will soon be the site of two major national championship rowing regattas, the June 3-5 Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championship and the June 10-12 USRowing Youth National Rowing Championship. Both of these events will bring the top rowers from around the country to Mercer County to compete to wear the crown of National Champion. The Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) and Mercer County Parks will be hosting these events on the Mercer Lake course which is considered one of the top rowing venues in the United States.

The IRA National Championship will feature the top crews from 41 Universities and Colleges to compete in men’s open, men’s lightweight and women’s lightweight events. The NCAA has established its Rowing Championship for open women and the IRA serves as the National Championship for the other three disciplines in collegiate rowing.   The IRA regatta has a history that goes back to 1870 and gained the name IRA in 1896.

The University of Washington men will be returning to defend their national championship. They will be facing strong competition from Yale, University of California, Princeton and a number of other crews seeking to knock Washington off the podium they have occupied for the past 5 years. Cornell will seek to add a third year onto their reign as the nation’s top lightweight men’s crew. Stanford University will be defending the lightweight women’s crown.

Approximately 140 schools and clubs will compete in 18 events at the USRowing Youth National Championship. Teams qualify to compete in the Championship at one of 12 regional championship events.   Racing will begin on Friday, June 10 with heats. Crews will then compete in semi-finals on Saturday, culminating in the finals on Sunday June 12.

The Mercer Juniors will be seeking to improve on last year’s performance as they compete on their home course. In 2015 the Mercer Girls Eight finished second in the nation last year. The Mercer Girls Lightweight Eight finished third in the country last year with the Boys Eight finishing 11th.

“This is the third year that we have hosted the IRA Championship and the first time we have hosted the Youth National Championship,” stated Kristopher Grudt, Executive Director of the Princeton National Rowing Association.   “It is truly an honor to be selected to host the top rowing events in the country. It is a tribute to the venue and all of the great volunteers that help to make these events possible.”

Both the IRA and the Youth National Championship would not be possible without an abundance of volunteers. For people wishing to get free entry and parking at the event, there are still volunteer opportunities available. To volunteer for the IRA please go to:   To view volunteer opportunities and sign up for the Youth National Championships go to:

About the Princeton National Rowing Association 

The Princeton National Rowing Association, a 501(c)3 organization, operates the Finn M.W. Caspersen Rowing Center located on the shores of Mercer Lake, Mercer County Park in West Windsor, New Jersey.  The Princeton National Rowing Association is dedicated to operating a world-class training site for our nation’s elite athletes, providing opportunities for area youth to excel in the sport of rowing and to expand rowing in the area through community-based programs.  PNRA runs the Mercer Junior Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for youth from over 30 area schools and the Mercer Masters Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for adults.  The center is a home to the USRowing National and Olympic Teams, as well as rowing clubs and schools. PNRA received generous support from Killarney’s Publick House, JLRacing, Bai, Holiday Inn and Residence Inn by Marriott.

For more information, contact Kristopher Grudt, tel: 609-799-7100 x100, or visit