April 2, 2004

Both Crews Prep to Race Rivals

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The men’s heavyweight and the women’s crews will challenge Syracuse, Yale, and Georgetown on the water tomorrow.

The men’s heavyweight team will travel to Princeton, N.J., to race against Georgetown, where the commodores will race three varsity eight boats and two freshmen eight boats against the Hoyas. “Hopefully, we’ll do really well this race,” said senior commodore Chris Bender.

The Red dominated the 2003 matchup between the two teams, sweeping all five races. The men are looking to repeat that success this year.

Cornell is coming off of a strong showing against Michigan and Marist last weekend, when the rowers brought home four victories out of a possible five.

“The results were really encouraging,” Bender said. “We still need to find more speed. We still have more to improve on.”

The team is looking forward to this weekend as another chance to tighten up its squads before beginning a tough schedule against Ivy League competition.

“Georgetown is not slow,” Bender said, “but they’re not as fast as teams we’ll face later in the year. It’s another good warm-up race.”


The women’s team will face off against Syracuse and Yale down the hill on Cayuga Lake.

“Last week, we faced the best teams in the country,” said senior co-commodore Kelly Neuman. “But this week, Yale and Syracuse are very strong. Every week someone will challenge us.”

Last year, the Red raced two varsity eight boats, two varsity four boats, and two freshman eight boats. Cornell brought home victories in the second varsity eight and second varsity four races and pulled to a second-place showing in the first varsity eight race.

Cornell looks to improve on last year’s results tomorrow.

“Every week we have the opportunity to get our name on a trophy,” Neuman said. “It’s exciting, it kind of makes for a personal rivalry.”

Yale will arrive in Ithaca with a No. 3 ranking in the US Rowing / Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association NCAA Division I coaches preseason poll following a sweep of Columbia and Penn to win the Connell Cup. The ranking is the highest the Bulldogs have ever received in the poll. The Red finished ahead of Syracuse in every race last year, and the team is aiming for similar results this weekend.

“We’re trying to improve on our record,” Neuman said. “We hope to keep building on our success from the first weekend.”

Last weekend, Cornell struggled in the first day of competition at the Windermere Classic in California, dropping races to Washington State, California, and Michigan. After some mental adjustments, however, the Red came out and beat No. 5 ranked Stanford on the second day. This victory has given the Red momentum in practice all week, momentum that the team hopes will stay with it on the water tomorrow.

“We’ve got more confidence in our speed,” Neuman said. “We’re really excited about our win over Stanford, but we can’t stop there.”

Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Staff Writer