March 31, 2009

Red Crew Dominates I.C. Invite to Kickstart Season

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The first meet of this year’s rowing season could not have started out much better for both Cornell squads. The season premiere coincided with one of the most beautiful days of the year so far and both teams capitalized on the encouraging weather. The men grabbed victories in all five races, while the women earned wins in four of the five contests.[img_assist|nid=36400|title=Ants on a log|desc=The men’s crew teams started out their spring season in grand fashion Saturday afternoon, sweeping their events at the Ithaca College Invite.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
In the men’s season debut at the Cayuga Inlet, the heavyweight squad finished first while the lightweight squad finished second in each of its races.  In the varsity-8, the heavyweight squad had the fourth best time of the day, with a 6.03.4 finish, more than eight seconds faster than the lightweight Cornell boat and almost 13 seconds faster than any other squad.
The heavyweight squad also registered the best time of the day in the varsity-8 heats, registering an impressive time of 5.53.4. The lightweight team finished six, nine, and nine seconds, respectively, behind the heavyweight team in the second varsity-8, varsity-4, and V8 heats’ races respectively.
“It was a great way to start the season,” said sophomore heavyweight Darragh Brady. “An outing this successful gives us the confidence we will need to pull us through some closer races.”
The novice teams found similar success. The Red dominated in the frosh/novice-8 race. The heavyweight team edged out the competition with a 5.9-second victory over the lightweight squad to win the race. In the second novice-8 race, the Red heavyweights also defeated the lightweight squad in an equally close contest.
Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, the women also enjoyed a plethora of victories in their season debut against the Ithaca College, William Smith, and Marist teams. After losing their first race in a close battle with the Bombers, the Red never looked back, winning the ensuing four races. Cornell dominated the second varsity-8 race by nearly 30 seconds and the varsity-4 race by over 20 seconds. In addition, the women’s team posted outstanding times of 7.01.5 and 7.01.0 to gain victories in the varsity-8 heats and second varsity-8 heats, respectively.
Few of the races provided exciting finishes, however. The Red struggled in the varsity- 8 race, falling to Ithaca College in a close decision. The teams were neck and neck going into the final stretch before the Bombers pulled off the victory by less than a second. The frosh/novice-8 and the second frosh/novice 8 women outpaced their competitors by a slim margin of 30 seconds.
Both the men’s and women’s teams look to continue their victorious ways as they proceed further into the regular season. While the women’s team will remain in the Central New York area next weekend as it travels to Syracuse to take on the Orange and Yale, the men’s crew will enjoy a couple of weeks off before competing in the George Washington Invitational in Washington, D.C. on April 10.