April 11, 2008

Lightweight Crew Faces First Ivy Competition

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Both the men’s and women’s crew will use its 2000 meters of opportunity this weekend to determine where the Red stacks up against a few fellow Ivy League boats. The lightweight men will compete against Harvard and Penn on the Cayuga Inlet on Saturday, while the women will face Radcliffe and Princeton on the road.
This weekend marks the first Ivy League opposition the lightweights have encountered since the fall. The men will use the race to take stock of their current speed.
“We basically just want to see where we are at this point in the season, because we haven’t had a race yet against people in our league,” said senior Billy Boyce.
At this point last year, the Red was perfect in Ivy standings, having already defeated Harvard, Princeton and Penn.[img_assist|nid=29744|title=Splash Splash|desc=The men’s rowing team will remain in Ithaca this weekend to take on Ivy foes Harvard and Penn.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“We’d like to win,” Boyce said. “But we would also like to send a strong message to the rest of the league about what our current speed is.”
So far this spring, the Quakers have defeated Delaware and lost to Navy. Harvard has yet to begin its competitive season.
“Harvard is always one of our biggest competitors, they’re a very a solid crew,” Boyce said. “Racing them is very indicative of where we stand compared to the rest of the league.”
The first varsity men’s boat will consist of seniors Boyce, Chris Bunnell and captain Matt Kochem, juniors Stefan Brabeck, Mike Gavalas, Mike Psiaki, coxswain Corinne Zappacosta and sophomores Nick Carbone and Raymond Fort. The rowers are eager to have a platform from which to build upon for the rest of the season.
“We can’t control what the other crew does,” Boyce said. “Whatever the margin is isn’t as important as long as we feel like we had the best piece that we are capable of at this point in the season.”
The women will head to Boston after an impressive start to the season this past weekend, having defeated Syracuse and lost by a small margin to No. 2 Yale. With the women’s newfound speed, the team enters the weekend looking to see where it stands among some tough competitors.
“Our past weekend was really successful and we are hoping to build on this new speed that we have,” said senior Delana Spaulding.
During this weekend last year, the women hosted Radcliffe and Princeton and finished behind both teams.
The Red’s first varsity line-up for Saturday’s contest consists of seniors Spaulding, Kim Kraemer, Sarah Griffin and captain Caitlin Mance, junior Cathleen Balantic and sophomores Harlan Trevithick, Lauren Fisher, Caroline Post and coxswain Caitlin Runyan.
So far this spring, Radcliffe has been topped by Brown in its home opener, while the No. 5 Tigers remain perfect against Columbia, Rutgers and No. 3 Brown.
“We are very excited to race these two teams,” Spaulding said. “Princeton and Radcliffe are typically strong crews, but the league results have not been similar to past years. The results are all over the place, so we feel like we have a chance to do well.”
The remarkable performance last weekend provided an opportunity to develop an effective racing strategy.
“We want to focus on the first half of the race this weekend,” Spaulding said. “Last weekend we had a really strong second thousand and we finished well, but this weekend we want to focus on getting off the line strong and sticking with the two crews all the way down the course.”