April 4, 2006

Crew Opens Season With Wins

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Success was sweet for the Cornell crew teams this past Saturday, as the clubs participated in their first races of the season.

All five of the men’s lightweight crew boats won their respective races against Ithaca College, all three of the heavyweight men’s crew won against Georgetown, and all the novice women’s boats won at the Cayuga Cup.

The lightweight men competed against Ithaca College, Ohio State, Massachusetts, Marist and Hobart. For each boat, the margin of victory was at least three seconds, and the closest race was in the third varsity eight-man event, where Cornell finished with a time of 6:28.9, 3.2 seconds in front of Marist.

The Big Red’s lightweight men’s first eight soundly defeated Marist and Hobart with a time of 6:02.1 and the second varsity eight won with a time of 6:09.2.

The heavyweight men also experienced success in their meet against Georgetown with three boats, the first varsity eight, the second varsity eight, and the novice first eight emerging victorious.

“It was a special challenge just because it was the first race of the year and you just can’t duplicate that race condition in practice quite to the extent of the real thing. I think we are just happy that under that pressure, the crews performed well,” said Coach Dan Roock.

The first varsity eight finished with a time of 6:09.1, roughly three seconds in front of Georgetown. The second varsity eight won by a margin of four seconds with a time of 6:18.7

“The next step in our development is to go a little faster and the way to do that is to raise our cadence and get in more strokes per minute and to clean up the starting phase of the race, which is a tricky thing to do and requires more practice than we have had time for,” Roock said.

The novice heavyweight crew also made a good showing with their first eight, beating out Georgetown with a time of 6:13.1.

“All boats rowed well for this time of year and were poised during the racing although I thought all the races were difficult because of the pressure the Georgetown kept on us … We were able to move ahead of Georgetown and maintain that lead throughout the race,” Roock said.

The women’s crew team had a rockier start to its season, although the novice crews put in an especially strong finish at the Cayuga Cup held at Lake Onondaga in Maple Bay, N.Y. The race was moved to the west shore of Lake Onondaga due to heavy crosswinds and rough water that made conditions unsafe at the Syracuse racecourse.

The varsity eight finished second to the highly competitive Yale crew by 19 seconds, finishing with a time of 7:30. The varsity fourth came in third to both Syracuse and Yale.

However, the novice had better results with both the eighth and the fourth coming away with wins. The novice eight crossed the line at 7:41 and the varsity fourth cruised past Syracuse with a time of 8:23, winning by an impressive margin of 22 seconds.

Archived article by Catherine Bourque
Sun Staff Writer