Although the men’s heavyweight crew will have a chance to relax its guard as it enjoys a bye this weekend, the men’s lightweight and women’s crews will face stiff competition this weekend in an early test of their technical skills and strength.
The men’s lightweight crew will race against Penn and Harvard at home this weekend in the Matthews-Leonard Cup. Head coach Todd Kennett expects the race to be highly competitive, as both Penn and Harvard have been strong in the past.
“This is sort of a grudge match for all three crews. Everyone has something at stake and something to defend or hold onto. … It could be quite a race,” Kennett said.
Last weekend, the Cornell lightweights put up wins against heavyweight crews, sweeping all five races against Ohio State, Massachusetts, Marist, Hobart and Ithaca College.
“When these guys were racing against heavyweight crews last weekend, to get ahead of teams like that is a huge mental boost,” Kennett said. “It is a great stepping stone for us to start out on.”
Penn competed against Rutgers and St. Joseph’s in the Lev-Brett Bowl last weekend. The Quakers soundly beat the Rutger’s and St. Joseph’s crews after the Knights caught an over-the-head crab and fell behind.
“Pennsylvannia was blistering fast in the fall and they started out with a win last weekend. But it was in really rough conditions, so it is hard to tell what their real speed is other than they got the job done,” Kennett said.
Last year, Penn posted impressive results, finishing right behind Cornell at the NCAA championships. Kennett anticipates that the Quakers will be just as close in this year’s matchup.
The three crews of Harvard claimed first place at Belly of the Carnegie this past fall, and the Crimson’s men’s lightweight crew contributed to the victory by winning their respective race.
“Harvard hasn’t raced anybody this year, [but] they are always good. How good is the big question,” Kennett said.
The Red will have a slight advantage over Harvard in that this will be the Crimson’s first race of the season, whereas the Red and Penn both competed last weekend.
“I think we have some speed and we are also really young. I think the big question this weekend is whether we execute our race plan properly, and if we do that, it will give us enough base speed. And then it is just a question of, are we faster than someone else,” Kennett said.
The women’s crew will compete against Princeton and Radcliffe at Princeton in the Class of ’75 Cup. The Red had some rough water last weekend, leading to marginal success against Syracuse, but suffered a loss to Yale’s crew.
Princeton has proven to be a powerful opponent, sweeping Georgetown, Rutgers, and Columbia last weekend.
Last year, the Tigers were fifth overall at the NCAA rowing championships.
Radcliffe is also highly competitive, bringing a 3-0 record and a win against No. 4 Brown last weekend to the water against the Red.
Archived article by