April 19, 2004

Crews Rack Up Wins

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All three Red rowing teams brought trophies home to Ithaca after traveling to Maryland and New Jersey for races over the weekend.

The women’s crew brought home the Raritan Cup and the Class of ’89 Plate after dominating the water against Rutgers and Penn. The Red won four of five races on Saturday, dropping only the second varsity eight race.

“[Penn and Rutgers] are both good schools,” said head coach Melanie Onufrieff. “We’ve been fortunate every time to come out on top. Last year we almost got run down.”

The Red crossed the line five seconds ahead of Rutgers and eight seconds ahead of Penn to win the varsity eight race and claim the Raritan Cup. This was the second consecutive year the Red brought home the varsity trophy. Cornell also earned the Class of ’89 Plate, which is determined by overall points. Points are earned based on a crew’s place in each race.

“They wanted to win decisively this time and they did,” Onufrieff said. “They did a good job in getting started and they stayed in control all the way down. They got the job done.”

The men’s heavyweight crew also returned to Ithaca carrying hardware. Despite losing the varsity eight race and the Goes Cup to Navy, the Red came home with the Stagg Trophy for most overall points.

The Red faced extreme conditions on the Severn River, as many motorboats created rough waters on the first day of fishing season.

“It was ridiculous conditions,” said head coach Dan Roock. “The athletes are psyched to race in conditions that are more standard, which would allow a true test of rowing rather than who can survive the boat waves.”

The Red won two races and finished second in two others to finish on top of the points standings. Cornell was well ahead of Syracuse in every race, and finished ahead of or right behind Navy.

“The varsity race was a tight race,” Roock said. “It was a great race until right before the end when they were rocking, crashing, and bouncing in the waves.”

To wrap up a successful weekend for the Red, the men’s lightweight crew won two out of three races against Rutgers and Princeton. The varsity brought home the Plapp Cup, while the freshman eight also won a trophy at the regatta.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” said senior commodore Colin Farrell. “Princeton is really good, a strong program. We gave it our best shot.”

The Red’s only loss came in the second varsity eight race, as Cornell crossed the line only three seconds behind Princeton.

Farrell felt that the team’s hard work in practice the week before was the difference on the water this weekend.

“We worked all week at being aggressive off the start and getting ahead to command the race,” he said. “We were down at the start but we didn’t back down.”

Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Staff Writer