April 30, 2004

Lightweight Crew Eyes Record

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The lightweight crew will travel to Dartmouth tomorrow, but its real destination is the record books. A victory in the Baggeley Cup on the Connecticut River tomorrow would give the Red a win in every trophy race of the season for the first time since 1992.

“We’re coming off a big weekend,” said head coach Todd Kennent ’91. “We’re feeling up and coming.”

To win the Baggeley, the lightweight crew will have to reverse last season’s results, in which the Red won every race except the trophy contest against the Green.

“I don’t think last year plays at all in the guys’ minds,” Kennett said. “It’s such a different boat, and they don’t care about last year. They’re living for the moment and doing what they can in the moment.”

The Red can expect a good fight from Dartmouth. The Green is also riding winning momentum after sweeping four races against Columbia last weekend.

“It’s always a heck of a race, a real barn-burner,” Kennett said.

Cornell also has history on its side. Since 1998, the visiting team has always won the Baggeley Cup. On a river with questionable conditions that can include floating beaver dams, the Red is looking for every advantage it can get.

The women’s rowing team suffered a fate similar to that of the lightweight crew when it competed against Dartmouth last year. The Red swept five of six races in 2003, but fell short in the varsity eight race and lost the Parent’s Cup.

“It’s not something we’re thinking about,” said head coach Melanie Onufrieff. “But it was a tough loss. Maybe half the varsity boat was in the boat last year. They want to bring it back.” Despite the loss, the Red dominated against the Green a year ago, winning three races by more than 10 seconds. The Green has struggled this season, with its only win coming against Cincinnati on March 26. However, Onufrieff is taking nothing for granted tomorrow.

“They have a lot of speed and are always ready to go against us,” she said. “It’s always a good race, and going to their place, they’ll want to put on a good showing.”

The Red has remained focused on long-term goals and improvement in practices this week. “This week we’ve been trying to get faster, like every other week,” Onufrieff said. “We have to focus on doing our job in our race. Dartmouth can do whatever it wants. We have to focus on our boat.”

The heavyweight crew will head to New Brunswick, N.J., to face Rutgers in the third annual race for the Smith Cup.

The Red swept the Scarlet Knights in 2003 and won the Smith Cup both years it has been raced. But, the team is not looking at tomorrow as an easy race.

“Last year we beat them in a dual race and they beat us at Eastern championships,” said head coach Dan Roock. “All I have to do is remind [the team] of Eastern champs. It’s a real motivation to go after those guys.”

The Scarlet Knights have had a rocky season, recently dropping two out of three races to Northeastern.

“We expect a very good race,” Roock said. “They are better this year than they have been.”

Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Staff Writer