October 16, 2006

Cornell Crews Come Together for Annual Schwartz Cup

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The Schwartz Cup is the only race on the Cornell crews’ schedule where pre-race theatrics overshadows rowing performances. For the past 19 years, the Red has designated the Saturday of Homecoming Weekend to recognize the support and generosity of alumni and the Schwartz family in particular. The friendly event also helps break up the monotony of the fall training.

“The Schwartz Cup is a fun competition but its also about bragging rights and rivalry between the classes,” said senior Tyler Davis.

[img_assist|nid=18939|title=Row your boat|desc=The men’s lightweight and heavyweight crews, along with the women’s squad, participated in the Schwartz Cup this past Saturday.|link=popup|align=left|width=100|height=67]

Despite the chilling winds and rough waves, the men’s lightweight crew squeaked by their heavyweight counterparts to get the overall fastest time of 16:45 in the head race. A head race is a time trial in which the slowest boats begin first and the faster ones are released later in intervals. This allowed for competition amongst the different boats within each program. Freshman Dan Grew led his boat to victory over the other freshman heavyweights.

“This was my first head race and it was an especially good feeling to win a Schwartz Cup,” Grew said.

Although the senior men’s heavyweight eight lost the actual rowing competition by four seconds, they succeeded in winning the ‘Best Costume’ award. The seniors were led by the 2006 Ivy Man, Chris Clark, who assumed the role of Disney’s Aladdin and performed A Whole New World in sign language. Clark, sporting a purple polyester vest, was flanked by dancing teammates dressed as Aladdin characters like Abu, Jasmine and the Genie. Clark was quick to point out the key to his success.

“We were able to communicate across different levels of society and convey a beautiful, beautiful message,” Clark said.

The runners-up, senior lightweights and sophomore heavyweights, also came up with some noteworthy performances. The lightweights did a hilarious parody of their coaches, while the sophomores featured Andrew McLaren as a robust German female rower, “Ivana Ergalot.” McLaren, a Mrs. Doubtfire of sorts, proceeded to dominate the rest of the team in rowing competition.

On the women’s side, the freshman pulled off an equally imaginative recital. The rowers wondered what practice would be like with celebrity coaches. The audience found out that Paris Hilton replaced the word “row” — an integral command in technique training — with “that’s hot,” while Donald Trump fired his underachieving squad.

“For the novice rowers, this was our first opportunity to row in a race-like environment at the collegiate level,” said freshman Meredith Murray. “It gave us a good indication of what the rest of our season will be like.”

In the wake of last Saturday’s regatta, the Red will shift its attention toward the Head of the Charles Regatta in Cambridge, Mass. Arguably the biggest event of the fall season, the Red will compete against some of U.S.’s best crews in next week’s race.