Men’s lightweight crew head coach Todd Kennett ’91 must have the equivavlent of four cement bricks weighing on on his chest.
Not only did more than half of last season’s varsity boat graduate in May.
Not only is his team packed with untested underclassmen.
Not only does he have a laundry list of rowers all competing for a spot on the varsity boat.
But if that wasn’t enough, his crews also haven’t even been able to hot the water yet because Cayuga Lake has been frozen over from the snow storms.
“It makes me nervous to tell you how we’re going to do,” Kennett said. “This weather’s been killing us the last three weeks.”
To say the least, the upcoming season for the Red appears hazy and vague. But that certainly isn’t to say that it won’t be successful.
What’s going to make the season exciting, if not heart-stopping, for Kennett is that he has as many as 16 guys to choose from for the eight seats in the varsity boat.
He rattled the names off: Bernie Murphy, Scott Triolo, Mike Cody, Rob Garrison, Ben Metcalfe, Ryan Fitchett, Jason Weinstein, Joe Kiely, Jon Zelken. Tristan Wietsma, Nafis Smith, Simon Saddleton, Chris Moschner, Dan Franco, Chris Cotronei, and Steve Barcelo.
“Any one of those guys could be on the varisty, so there’s depth there,” Kennett acknowledged. “It’s [going to be] a dogfight.”
Adit Sahasrabudhe will be the varsity coxswain.
Because of the logjam at the top, the boats down the order are guaranteed to be strong.
“My second boat is going to be pretty good,” Kennett said, adding. “Almost all of the guys on the JV are of varsity caliber.”
While Cornell may have plenty of depth it’s nonetheless still short on the experience. According to Kennett, the sophomores should lead the way this year.
“The sophomore class is the most gifted class, but they have a lot to learn,” he said. “If they start learning, they could make serious good happen.”
Due to the team’s youth, Kennett believes most teams in the league will overlook the Red this season.
“I don’t think we’re being looked at seriously,” he explained. “Everybody’s not counting on too much from us.”
Yale is expected to post the fastest times in the IRA this season, with Columbia first in line to challenge the Elis.
“[The team] knows it needs to get fast because the league is fast,” Kennett said.
But Kennett’s mind isn’t necessarily on the competition. More likely, he’s thinking about the most optimal line-up for the Red’s first race, against Navy on the 31st of this month.
“I’m just going to throw line-ups together,” he commented.
So what’s going to help Kennett make up his mind?
“If you give me a reason for me not to put you in, you’ve taken yourself out of the race,” he said. “Everytime [you] get a chance, [you] have to capitalize.”
Archived article by Shiva Nagaraj