April 27, 2007

Crew Splits Up to Race Ivy League Opponents

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The men’s heavyweight, men’s lightweight and women’s crew squads will all be in action this weekend in multiple locations. The men’s heavyweight team will travel to Derby, Conn., to take on Princeton and Yale in the Carnegie Cup tomorrow, while the men’s lightweight and women’s squads will both stay home to take on Dartmouth.
The heavyweight squad is coming off two first-place finishes, winning the Smith Cup against Rutgers and the Stagg Cup against Navy and Syracuse. This will be the last regular-season race for the Red, as it gears up for the Eastern Sprints in Worcester, Mass., on May 13. Head coach Dan Roock says the team is focused on tomorrow’s race, which will be against a formidable Princeton team and an undefeated Yale squad.
“Princeton and Yale are highly regarded … and it’s always a heated rivalry among the three crews,” Roock said. “This race is always done at a high level, and very competitively.”
The lightweights are looking to build on three straight great weekends of racing, including last Saturday versus Columbia and MIT, where it won four of five races. Like the heavyweight team, the lightweight squad is seeking a strong finish to the regular season, in its final race before the Eastern Sprints. Dartmouth started slowly this season, but has been coming on of late. According to head coach Todd Kennett ’91, the Green’s early struggles were due more to the poor weather in New Hampshire and lack of water time than anything else.
“I think they’re a much better team than they’re probably getting credit for,” Kennett said. “We’re not taking them very lightly here. Traditionally, it’s always a great race between Cornell and Dartmouth.”
The women’s squad will also be facing off against the Green tomorrow, which boasts one of the top women’s rowing programs in the country. The Red will look to reverse last year’s result, where it lost in a tight race. According to interim head coach Hillary Gehman, this past weekend, all but the varsity boats performed well in a loss against Brown and Columbia. Gehman was pleased with what she saw from most of the squad, has reshuffled the top boat a bit and hopes to see continued development from Cornell.
“I think we’ve had some good practices this week, and the new combination in the varsity seems to be working pretty well,” she said. “We’re making improvements every day.”