After successful starts in their first races of the season, the lightweight and women’s crews will be on the road this weekend to face some of the toughest competitors in the league. The lightweights will travel to Camden, N.J. tomorrow to take on Harvard and Penn, while the women are set to race against Harvard and Princeton in Boston.
In their last event, a race-off against Boston College, the lightweights found themselves sweeping the competition. In what turned out to be more like a scrimmage setting due to the high water levels in Cayuga Inlet, the varsity, junior varsity and freshmen rowers all came in well ahead of the Eagles.
This weekend, the lightweights enter the competition optimistic after continuing to work on their speed throughout the week.
“We’re trying to build up from our earlier races,” said senior co-captain Colin Farrell. “We’re just trying to get faster every day.”
And speed will be an important factor as the crews race against Penn and Harvard. In its last competition, Penn took the Lev-Brett Cup by coming out on top over Rutgers in 2-of-3 races. This victory gave the Quakers its first victory in the race since 1997.
While Penn has already had practice racing in a competitive setting, this Saturday will mark Harvard’s return to the water for its first competition of the spring. Despite the lack of real race experience, the Crimson will again be the team to beat.
“Harvard is always good, and we expect a good race from them,” Farrell said. “[This race] is always a good test of our speed early on in the season.”
Although the race was scheduled to be held on the Schuylkill River, the location was moved to the Cooper River because of water conditions. The lightweights will now be racing on the course where the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta will be held in early June.
Harvard will also be putting up a challenge for the women this weekend, as they head to Boston to take on the home team and Princeton in their second competition of the season. “It’s really hard to say how we’re going to do,” said senior Kathleen Walsh. “This is definitely our toughest competition, and it’s tough to hold great expectations.”
After mixed results at last weekend’s Cayuga Cup Regatta, the women have worked on their starts and level of intensity to step up the competition. During the event, the varsity boat finished third behind Yale and Syracuse with the novice crew claiming first place in its race.
The competition for this weekend has already begun at home for the Red. With the boat lineups yet to be finalized, the women continue to show off their hard work in order to earn a spot in the boats.
On Saturday, Princeton will be looking to add a few more victories after dominating last weekend’s race against Columbia and Rutgers. The Tigers took every race except for the novice eight where they finished second.
Harvard also started its spring season with a successful opening race where the Crimson beat Georgetown in the inaugural Class of 2004 Cup.
Despite the formidable competition, the women are prepared to put forth the intensity needed to win.
“It’s a new season, and we don’t know how we compare,” Walsh said. “We’re going to try to take control from the beginning and go out and see what we can do.”
Archived article by Kristina Kovach
Sun Staff Writer