The men’s heavyweight crew turned the tables on its competition this weekend, beating Rutgers by nearly 15 seconds after trailing opponents by a double-digit margin for two consecutive weekends. The men’s lightweight crew and the women’s crew did not encounter the same success, however, as both crews fell to one of their most heated rivals, Dartmouth.
All three crews competed in their final race of the regular season, with the women getting two weeks to prepare for the EAWRC championships on May 14, while the men’s crews will have an additional week of practice before their EARC championships on May 21.
The men’s heavyweight crew will be riding into the championships with momentum powering its lead boat, as its varsity boat handedly beat Rutgers on Saturday, with a final time of 5:59.7 to Rutgers’ finish of 6:14.2.
The men’s lightweight crew, meanwhile, failed to defend its two-year winning streak against Dartmouth and enters into its championship race having lost back-to-back close races.
The previous week, the varsity boat for Cornell lost to Columbia by just fewer than three seconds and then by just two seconds to Dartmouth on Saturday.
Head coach Todd Kennett ’91 went into the Dartmouth race anticipating a razor’s edge finish and had shuffled the lineup for the varsity boat in order to inject some new energy for the Dartmouth race – however, the night before the race, Kennett decided he would stick with his original lineup for the race.
According to sophomore Chris Bunnell, one of the two sophomores who were set to move into the varsity boat, Kennett felt that there was not enough preparation by the new lineup to take on a tough crew like Dartmouth.
Bunnell also noted that in the next weeks of practice, the crew will continue to tinker with the lineups in order to figure out what will create the fastest boats in time for the championships in three weeks.
The women’s crew also suffered a close defeat at Dartmouth, losing by about four seconds, with Dartmouth’s final time coming in at 6:25.3 and Cornell’s at 6:29.2.
Dartmouth’s dominance extended to all four races on the day, as the Green swept every contest.
The rowers in the women’s varsity boat felt they had a good showing despite the final results, as the Red kept in close with a crew that came into the weekend ranked No. 3 in the nation. The real problem for the Red was an inability to capitalize on Dartmouth giving them the chance to take the lead.
“We were with them the whole way,” said sophomore Kim Kraemer. “They just moved on us slowly, but we didn’t take the opportunity.”
This will be a key area for the Red to improve upon in the two weeks of practices it has before the EAWRCs, and the crew seems to be already aware of that fact.
“We just need more attack in the race … I’m excited to take these two weeks and working hard and proving that we’re a better crew than we raced during the season,” said senior Shannon Caron.