November 6, 2003

W. Rowing Races at Belly of the Carnegie

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This weekend, the women’s crew will send its novice rowers into real competition for the first time this season.

“All the rowers this weekend will be athletes who have never rowed in college — this means some have experience and some do not,” said assistant coach Carmen Mirochna.

This weekend’s regatta, the Belly of the Carnegie, will be held in Princeton, N.J. and will pit the Red against most of its Ivy competitors and other schools that compete in the Eastern Sprints League, such as Syracuse, Navy and Rutgers.

The young Red squad is very excited going into this weekend, as is Mirochna. Mirochna is confident in what she has seen so far this fall and the good weather has enabled the Red to get in a lot of valuable practice time. Mirochna is also confident about this weekend because she has some good leaders and a strong squad. This year, 65 women tried to walk-on and the group has been narrowed down to just 16.

This weekend Cornell will have two even boats. The women will race a three-mile race course in a head race style.

“This means they fire over the line one at a time with approximately 20 seconds in between each crew with the intention of catching the next crew and staving off the one behind,” explained Mirochna. “You can only imagine how fun it is to stand on the bridge watching dozens upon dozens of novice coxswains vie for the best course while their ‘enemy’ — be it Penn or Radcliffe — is jamming oars in their backs trying to position their crew from getting passed or doing the passing.”

Each year, this race will be a measuring stick for all the crews in the division. It’s a chance for each team to see each other’s group of incoming rowers. Last year, Brown had a very strong team and this year Princeton, which has the home course advantage, will surely be tough. But the competition is definitely wide open. The untested Cornell team will have its work cut out for it this weekend. But, the good weather the crew has enjoyed so far this fall has given the rowers adequate time to prepare. The Red expects that it will be in the hunt for the win.

Archived article by Nick Raho