The crews have reason to be optimistic about the Spring season after an encouraging performance in the fall races. Dan Allen, men’s heavyweight interim head coach during Dan Roock’s year-long sabbatical, said his aim was to “make ‘Big Dan’ Roock proud.”
The heavyweights finished seventh at the Head of the Charles and fourth out of all the colleges that took part, an improvement over last season. For the first time ever, one of the boats finished first at the Princeton Chase. Combined with the result of the second boat, Cornell secured a second-place finish at the regatta.
Allen said his men would strive to reach the podium at the national championships.
“Things look very promising, with our fall results improving upon last year. We have strong senior leadership, talented juniors, and an enormous base of sophomores, giving our squad good depth,” he said. “They’ve handled the new seven-week rule (made 33 days for crew) very well. They’ve taken responsibility for training, and they’ve made me very proud with their work ethic and diligence. Everything hinges on how they approach winter break, but expect a very fast and exciting squad in spring.”
Todd Kennett ’91, men’s lightweight head coach, also thought his squad showed a lot of promise.
“The new sophomores are a great group, and we’ve had a lot of freshmen who walked-on and did really well; our two-fastest boats placing second in the Princeton Chase.”
With a fifth-place finish at the Head of the Charles, Kennett felt that his squad, which had a lot of success the previous year, was starting to consistently row at the highest level.
“Our squad has plenty of depth, and if someone steps up, there’s no reason why we can’t win consistently and decisively. We’re not a squad full of superstars, but just have a great team all-round,” he noted. “I like the ethical idea behind the new seven-week rule, and the guys are still training and giving it their best. While I’m torn that I can’t coach these guys that I recruited, we’re going to make the best of it.”
Melanie Onufrieff, women’s rowing coach was pleased with the improvements her squad made from the previous year.
“Fall isn’t the major season, and with more than half the squad sophomores, we were looking to keep things fresh and look for improvement from last season. We hope to see the results in the spring,” she said. “With our freshman crews finishing second overall at the Princeton Chase, we also have a lot of potential for the next year.”
While happy with the fall results, Onufrieff reiterated that they didn’t determine performances in spring.
“We are looking to improve from last year, when we qualified for the NCAA. I think that gave everyone plenty of motivation to improve, and they’re ready to do more this spring,” she commented. “The seven-week rule won’t affect us too much. The athletes still train, and while I can’t coach them, their speed next season will depend on their determination to give it their best. Our squad has a lot of potential, they’re great together, and we’re looking forward to improving our performance in spring.”
Archived article by Sandeep Ravindran