The women’s rowing team finished the regular season in Hanover, N.H. on Saturday, sweeping Dartmouth and Alabama in every boat to claim the Parents Cup. No. 17 Cornell cruised to an easy victory in four of the five boats, with the Varsity 8 barely scraping past No. 20 Dartmouth.
The Varsity 8 boats were neck and neck for the entire race, with Dartmouth taking an early lead. The Green stayed ahead for the first 1000 meters, before the Red walked back to Dartmouth’s three-seat during the third 500. In a dramatic final sprint, Dartmouth nearly caught up, before the Red pushed ahead in a thrilling finale, beating the Green by just 0.4 seconds. According to senior Taylor Goetzinger, this result showed Cornell’s ability to come from behind and win races.
“Yet again, we’ve proven to ourselves that we can walk back on a crew,” Goetzinger said. “We have a weaker start than most crews but we’re not afraid to work through them in the middle of the race.”
Although the Varsity 8 finished the weekend with Cornell’s tightest margin of victory, Goetzinger says the Red entered the race expecting tough competition.
“Comparing our other boats’ race against Brown to Dartmouth’s race against Brown showed that we were much faster than Dartmouth,” Goetzinger said. “However, the Varsity 8 results showed that this race was pretty much up for anyone.”
Cornell’s other boats faced easier competition, handily defeating both Dartmouth and Alabama. With the Red beating the Green by 5.6 seconds and Alabama by 18.2 seconds, the second Varsity 8 was the second most contested race of the day. The first Varsity 4 finished a whole 14 seconds ahead of Dartmouth, while the third varsity eight enjoyed a 23.5 second margin. The second varsity four also dominated, finishing 9.1 seconds off the front. Freshman and second Varsity 4 rower Abby Giancola said that the Red’s unity was its greatest strength.
“We all get along really well,” Ginacola said. “Everyone is willing to make changes and we’re all held accountable for ourselves.”
The Parents Cup is the Red’s final regatta of the regular season, as the team takes next weekend off before heading to the first-ever Ivy League Championships in two weeks. This is the first year that an Ivy League Championships will take place, due to a recent change in the NCAA qualification system. The NCAA plans to instate a new conference qualifier system where the winning team from each conference will automatically advance to the tournament, while remaining schools will battle for at-large invitations.
The Red’s outlook on this tournament hasn’t changed following the Parents Cup, said Goetzinger.
“I’d say we got the job done, but it wasn’t necessarily a major confidence boost,” she said. “It was affirmation yet again that our team is strong and we’re in a good position compared to other Ivy League crews.”
The Red is unlikely to change training during the next two weeks, Goetzinger said. The squad has worked all year on their back-end speed in the top quarter of the drive and lengths in the water, and will continue to do so.
“These are things we’ve been working on all season,” she said. “But we have not yet perfected them. We’re going to continue to work on those aspects of the strokes. Since we don’t have a race on Saturday, we’ll probably also have some two-a-days leading up to Ivy League Champs.”
The Ivy League Championships will take place in Camden, N.J. on May 13. The Red also seeks to make the NCAA tournament this year, an honor the team has narrowly missed in the past few years.
“We’ve done everything in our power to make the NCAAs,” Goetzinger said. “At this point, we’ll just have to wait and see.”