April 27, 2009

Men’s Crew Wraps Up Season With Home Victories

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Bringing the regular season to a successful close, both men’s rowing teams swept this weekend’s competition in the gorgeous Ithaca weather on Saturday. Women’s crew, on the road in Providence, R.I., had a solid performance coming in second place in its three races.
“Cornell came out really hard. All of our boats had really good races and we put up some great times,” senior varsity heavyweight Jonathan Carroll said.
The Red’s No. 9 heavyweight rowing team destroyed its Ivy League competition, Princeton and No. 12 Yale in all three varsity-8 races, leading Cornell to win the Carnegie Cup. Cornell’s best finish of the day came from its first varsity-8 boat, coming in at 5:47.7, just six seconds before the Bulldogs. The Red won a dogfight with the Bulldogs in the second varsity-8, winning by a half second. The third varsity-8 boat completed the Red’s sweep of the weekend, passing the line 7.7 seconds faster than the competition at 6:04.0. The novice boats placed second in both events; both of the races were tight, with one being determined by fractions of a second.
[img_assist|nid=37228|title=Back to basics|desc=Men’s and women’s crew will spend the next two weeks working on their technique and form. The men will compete in the EARC championships while the women compete in EAWRC championships in two weeks.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“The whole week previously, we have been making some big changes within the boats. I think the fact is that we can switch everything up and then still produce on race day, especially for such an important race,” Carroll said. “This was one of our biggest races of the season and to be able to put that together and then still race and win and compete really well, we’re going to feed on that as we train for two weeks for Eastern Sprints.”
The rowing team will utilize its momentum for the next two weeks as it prepares for EARC Championships.
“I think it’s really great momentum coming into arguably the biggest race of the season [Eastern Sprints]. We really need to do well in Sprints to go on to the national championships,” Carroll said.
No. 6 Cornell men’s lightweight crew was equally successful this weekend sweeping the competition. Racing on the Cayuga Lake Inlet, the Red defeated a tough Dartmouth crew, winning the Baggeley Cup on Saturday afternoon.
“I thought we had a really strong showing. Dartmouth has been a big rival for us and I think we just had a really good day,” senior lightweight varsity Justin Green said.
The novice-8 started the day off for Cornell, posting an impressive 4.6 second victory over the Green. The team continued to show its drive and momentum as it proceeded to defeat Dartmouth by well over 13 seconds in the second varsity-8 race. The first varsity-8 boat crossed the finish line at a time of 5:59.3. Both Varsity 4 boats and the second Freshman 8 also came out victorious.
“It definitely sets us up for a good stepping-stone for Sprints and IRA’s. It’s definitely good to have a good race before the championships and a good strong showing from all the boats,” Green said.
The team was able to come out with a win even with two key rowers having to sit out of the race. Junior Chris Livingston and senior Stephen Kuhl sat out due to back injuries but have been training and preparing with the team and hopefully will be back for Sprints.
The teams are returning to the drawing board this week in preparation for EARC Championships.
“A lot of hard training … we’re going back over techniques and basic rowing strategies. We definitely had a hard week and a half to come before Sprints of training,” Green said.
On the road competing against Brown and Columbia in the Dunn Bowl, the Cornell women’s team continued work at its technique, placing second in three races.
“Everybody was really happy with our performance as a team,” senior varsity Michelle Colacion said. “Being more competitive with Columbia and Brown have always been tough teams to beat so we are hoping to improve our margin during Sprints.”
Cornell’s novice-8 finished at 7:33.01, in a very close race against the Bears. The first varsity-8 boat faired well as they edged out Columbia for second place. The second varsity-8 came finished third as Brown swept all five races.
“Our novice-8 was very competitive against Brown and they have always been huge competitors so we were happy to see how that race did … it was uplifting,” Colacion said.
The women’s team has one remaining race against Dartmouth next weekend before it proceeds to the EAWRC Championships.
“Dartmouth is definitely a beatable team. We stand up pretty close to them so we will use them to get ready for Sprints and figure out what we need to do in the next week or two to sweep … that’s the goal,” Colcaion said.