The strong headwind and choppy waters were not the only forces against the Cornell crews on Saturday morning at Cayuga Inlet, as the men’s heavyweight, men’s lightweight and women’s varsity eights each dropped their first regatta of the spring season.
“I think we haven’t gotten into a steady rhythm yet,” said senior heavyweight Chris Clark. “Once we start getting back to our full power, we’ll be moving. This was our first race of the season, and you can’t usually read that much from it. Next week we have three races in two days. That will be a better mark of where we are and better practice for us.”
[img_assist|nid=22438|title=It’s a deep burn.|desc=The men’s and women’s crew had rough outings this weekend as the men’s varsity heavyweights and lightweights both lost, as did the women’s varsity eights.|link=node|align=left|width=100|height=54]
The heavyweight varsity eight, which crossed the finish line with a time of 6:23.1 on the Inlet’s 2000-meter course, lost by a considerable margin to Trinity (6:15.7). The second varsity eight (6:29.2) had a more closely contested race, falling a few seconds short of Trinity’s mark of 6:26.7. The third varsity eight, however, prevailed over Trinity with a time of 6:34.4 to the Bantams’ mark of 6:42.9.
The first and second heavyweight novice eights also rowed well, each out-racing their Trinity opponents with times of 6:33.7 and 6:50.8, respectively.
“I guess the disappointing finish from this weekend can be contributed a lot to the large number of people who have been out,” Clark said. “We’ve been riddled with injuries. [Senior] Ryan [Monaghan] had back problems, mono, and knee problems. There have been four or five pretty bad situations that have taken guys away from the team for the time being. It affects every boat.”
The lightweight men fared a little better, as the varsity eight placed second of six teams in the NYS Round Robin. The men’s time of 6:26.5 fell short of Trinity’s 6:17.3 winning finish, but the Red defeated Hobart (6:34.0), Marist (6:32.7), Ithaca College (6:46.7) and UMass (6:58.3).
The second varsity lightweight eight beat all the other crews, with a time of 6:26.6 — just a tenth of a second behind the Red’s first lightweight varsity eight. The lightweight novice eight finished second of six crews, posting a time of 6:45.0.
“The lightweights are deep through all the boats this year,” Clark said. “They’ve been rowing the same lineup in the [varsity eight] for a while, and they’re solid.”
The women had a tough regatta, losing to Syracuse and Yale in each race except the second novice eight.
The varsity eight placed third of three boats, finishing at 7:03.7 and falling to both the Bulldogs (6:38.2) and the Orange (6:54.0). Also placing third was the second varsity eight, with a time of 7:19.5 to Yale’s 7:01.8 and Syracuse’s 7:13.5. The women also competed in a varsity four race, clocking in at 8:54.5 and finishing behind Yale (8:16.4) and Syracuse (8:34.9).
The women’s novice eight fell to both visiting teams, finishing with a mark of 7:09.8, but the second novice eight (8:34.4) prevailed over Syracuse (8:39.7).
Clark mentioned that seasonal adjustments may also have played a role in the disappointing outcomes of the races.
“We were iced in for part of spring break,” Clark said. “We were just on the water for a week and a half, and rowing through slush most of the time. Trinity had been on the water for over a month, on-and-off. Having that much more time in the boats is a huge advantage.”