Cornell will look to defend its Class of 1989 Points Plate from last year this Saturday as the women’s rowing team travels to New Jersey to face Rutgers and Penn. The Raritan Cup will also be awarded that day to the team that wins the Varsity Eight race. Races will start at 10 a.m. with the third varsity eight and should end before noon.The Red has started off its season strong and has recently received national recognition for it. Although first almost cracking the rankings last week in the US Rowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association NCAA Division I Coaches Poll with 49 points, after beating Radcliffe over the weekend, the Cornell team finally made the rankings, coming in at No. 20 overall in the nation. The last time Cornell appeared in the national rankings was in 2004 when it was ranked 16th.The Raritan Cup was first awarded in 1991 and since then, Cornell has taken it home 10 times. However, after a winning streak from 2002-05, the Red has been unable to take it back with Rutgers winning it in 2006 and Penn winning the last four races. Cornell challenged Penn almost every time, though, by finishing second in three of the last four races.The Class of 1989 Points Plate is awarded to the school that gathers the most points over the whole day. First awarded by Penn’s class of ’89 in 1992, the plate has been dominated by Cornell with 12 total victories, including last year. This year, the team expects to finish with similar results.“We are expecting to win,” said senior captain Harlan Trevithick.“Hopefully, we’ll be able to beat Rutgers and Penn this week,” said sophomore Niki Tsamis.The task will not be easy as both Rutgers and Penn will be coming in looking to prove themselves as well. Rutgers is coming off of a fifth-place finish at the Knecht Cup Regatta over the weekend and a third-place finish against Columbia and Princeton. The Rutgers team will host its only race of the year this weekend. Meanwhile, Penn is coming off of two second-place finishes against Columbia/Yale and Syracuse/Northeastern. Penn also enters the race as the defending Raritan Cup champion. Cornell is looking to get revenge for its loss last year.“Penn beat us last year and we’re incredibly eager to crush them this year. There’s a lot of excitement for this race and a new type of focus,” Trevithick said.This Saturday might be a little different from previous competitions during which all four varsity boats were able to compete. Because Cornell has a large and deep team, fielding four varsity teams is a possibility, but some other schools do not have enough rowers to fill four boats. As a result, the normal teams of eight will be split up to compete in groups of four.“It will be something different for us to try and work on,” Tsamis said. “It should be exciting.”This race will mark the first time this season that the Red will travel and compete away from Ithaca and the familiar Cayuga Lake Inlet. This traveling could have an effect on the athletes.“This is our first away game in a while,” Trevithick said. “We’ll have to adjust to that. We’ll need to figure out how to bring our success from the Ithaca Inlet to Rutgers.”Cornell’s team still has an undefeated boat midway through the season with the third varsity eight team performing extremely well. The team will look to carry its hot streak into this weekend.
Original Author: Wankyu Lee