May 2, 2005

Red Crews Sweep Competition in Final Home Races

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A little rain did not stop Cornell’s crews from rowing to victories this past Saturday morning. The women and lightweight men both swept every race against Dartmouth, while the heavyweight men defeated Rutgers in both varsity races in their last home competitions of the season.

Rebounding after tough losses to both Brown and Columbia last weekend, the women captured the Parent’s Cup Saturday on Cayuga Inlet. The varsity eight pulled ahead of Dartmouth in the last 500 meters of the race, finishing two seconds ahead of the Green in 6:44.8.

The rest of the varsity women’s crews followed in the varsity eight’s strokes, as each boat won its race by two seconds. The second varsity eight and varsity four crossed the finish in 6:52 and 7:48, respectively.

The novice races were also very close. The novice eight narrowly defeated the Green, finishing the 2000-meter course in 6:53.4, only one second ahead of Dartmouth. The second novice four won by the largest margin of the day, crushing Dartmouth by 23 seconds, and finishing in 8:06.

The lightweight men retained the Baggeley Bowl, which is annually contested in this competition against Dartmouth. Like the women, the lightweights swept each of the day’s races.

The varsity eight led for the entirety of its race, establishing a three- to four-seat lead during the first 250 meters and continuing to pull away from the Green during the remainder of the race. The Red finished in 5:56.4, an impressive 13.7 seconds ahead of Dartmouth.

“I knew that we had [the win] in us,” said lightweight head coach Todd Kennett ’91. “This weekend was really a confirmation that we are capable of producing great boat speed.”

The second varsity eight also won by a significant margin, finishing in 6:07.5 to Dartmouth’s 6:15.4. The third varsity boat raced in two fours rather than an eight. Cornell’s “A” boat won the race, posting a time of 6:55.2. Dartmouth was second in 7:01.3, while Cornell’s “B” boat finished in 7:03.1

The freshmen eight, whom to date have not been pulling off as many victories as their varsity teammates, stepped it up as they cruised through the finish in a time of 6:08.2, a full 7.2 seconds ahead of Dartmouth.

“I was very happy with the novice [boat],” Kennett said. “Their extra work has really been paying off. They have much better command of the boat.”

The Red will be working on fine-tuning its races over the next two weeks in preparation for the Eastern Sprints.

“We just need to get that last one percent of our race to fall into place,” Kennett said. “Our race plan needs to be sound — we need to have responses to everything that our competitors give us during races.”

The heavyweight men won the Smith Cup, defeating Rutgers in 2-of-4 races over the course of the morning. The varsity eight race was actually not finished, as Rutgers collided with the Red at around 1100 meters and was disqualified, giving the Red the win. The crews re-started from the point of collision for practice, but no official time was recorded.

“The race was very close,” said heavyweight head coach Dan Roock. “I would like to say that we would have won, but it really could have gone either way.”

The second and third varsity boats both competed in the same race, as Rutgers did not have a third varsity. Both of the Red’s boats defeated Rutgers, with the second varsity finishing first in 5:59 and the third varsity in second (6:09). Dartmouth finished in 6:16.

The freshmen boats, which have been seeing a bit more trouble than the varsity boats this season, both came up short in their respective races. The first freshmen eight finished their race in 6:10, while Rutgers finished in 6:06.9. The second freshmen race was closer, with Rutgers crossing the line 1.2 seconds ahead of the Red, which finished in 6:29.9.

“The freshmen have been having a difficult year — a lot of them have been sick,” Roock said. “It would be nice to see them succeed in the upcoming weeks, and I think they have the ability to.”

Seeing more time on the water has certainly had a hand in the improvements the crews have been making in the past few weeks, and they only hope to build on these accomplishments in the weeks before Eastern Sprints.

“I think our crew will continue to improve,” Roock said. “We are getting more water time as it has been getting nicer out. The more strokes we take, the more we will improve.”

All of Cornell’s crews will be entering the most competitive portions of their seasons in the upcoming weeks, beginning this weekend as the women’s and heavyweight men’s crews travel to the Opening Day Regatta in Seattle, Wash., and continuing when the lightweight and heavyweight men compete in the EARC Lightweight and Heavyweight Championships in Worcester, Mass., the following weekend. The women will travel to Camden, N.J., the same weekend for the EAWRC Championships.

Archived article by Erin Garry
Sun Staff Writer