Going into Sunday’s Princeton Chase, men’s heavyweight crew coach Dan Roock identified home crew Princeton as “the school to beat.” And Princeton proved its crews were certainly up to the challenge by taking first in five of the seven races.
Even while overshadowed by Princeton’s success, Cornell gave a strong performance, improving on mixed results in Boston”s Head of the Charles race two weeks ago.
But with the exception of the lightweight men’s eight, Cornell’s best performances fell well short of beating the home crew.
On Sunday, the lightweight men turned in the best result of the ten Cornell crews racing in the open eights division and was the only Cornell crew to finish ahead of Princeton.
The lightweight men’s “A” boat finished an impressive second in a field of 35 collegiate boats. With a time of 14:26.62, the men held a comfortable lead over third place Navy and was just 16 seconds behind first place Harvard.
Men’s lightweight coach Todd Kennett had one expectation of his crews — “that they go fast.” And it”s safe to say the crews have fulfilled his expectations.
Not only did the “A” boat defeat Princeton, but the lightweight “B” boat came in two spots ahead of the home crew. Turning in a time of 14:35.39, the “B” crew took sixth place while Princeton came in five seconds later in a surprising eighth place finish.
Even though the lightweight men came together to row to a solid finish, the heavyweight men did not have such luck.
Hoping to improve on last year’s second and fourth place finishes, the men revised their workouts to improve their cadence and intensity.
In the end, the heavyweight men improved from their 15th place finish in Boston, but Cornell’s “A” and “B” boats finished only seventh and fourth, respectively.
Princeton’s crew finished nearly 35 seconds ahead of Cornell’s first boat with a time of 13:57.50. Also in the top five were Navy, Boston University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Even with a new interim coach, Chris Wilson, the women have struggled to break into the top ten in the past two races. After finishing 23rd of 42 entries only two weeks ago, the Cornell women improved to 12th of 45 teams in the open eights, finishing with a time of 17:15.50. Princeton won the race with a time of 16:01.31.
After the eights races concluded, the eight person crews split up to compete in the fours category.
The fours races gave the rowers a chance to compete against each other and proved to be just as successful as Cornell’s full boat races.
Cornell’s women’s “A” boat rowed to seventh place with a time of 18:02.46 while the “B” boat came in 14th roughly 20 seconds later.
In the heavyweight men’s fours, Cornell’s “A” and “B” boats placed sixth and ninth, respectively. The lightweight men’s “A” boat finished fifth while the “B” boat finished eighth.
Cornell’s crews will compete in their final race of the fall season, the Belly of the Carnegie, at Princeton this upcoming Sunday.
Archived article by Kristina Kovach
Sun Staff Writer