April 13, 2011

No. 1 Princeton Outlasts Red in Chase for Class of ’75 Cup

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For the second year in a row, the women’s rowing team fell short against Princeton, the No. 1-ranked team in the nation, who claimed the Class of ’75 Cup for the third consecutive year last weekend in Boston, Mass. The women’s Varsity 8 team came in second, beating Harvard by two seconds and falling short to Princeton by nine seconds. Although the Red was unable to defeat the Tigers, the margin was smaller this year compared to last season when Cornell lost by 18 seconds. The Red won the Varsity 4 and Varsity 4B races and came in second in the third Varsity 8 contest.

“Princeton is a fast team that sets the standard. We are going to do the best to catch them in the coming weeks,” said head coach Hilary Gehman.

“We had a really good race against Harvard and Princeton. All three teams raced very aggressively and we are excited to build off of these results,” added senior captain Kyleen Parajon.

This Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at Cayuga Lake Inlet, the Red will be looking to defend both the Raritan Cup and the Class of ’89 plate that it won with a decisive six-race sweep in New Jersey last year. The Raritan Cup is awarded to the winner of the Varsity 8 race, while the Class of ’89 Plate is given to the overall team winner. Last year marks the first win by Cornell of the Raritan Cup since 2005. The Red has won the points plate in each of the last two years. The motivation to win the cup and the plate for a second year in a row coupled with the first home game of the season will make the race this weekend especially exciting.

The competition is not to be taken lightly, as both Penn and Rutgers will travel to Cornell with every intention of winning the cup and the plate.  Penn is coming off a win last weekend over Northeastern at the Orange Cup and Syracuse, while Rutgers placed second in the Knecht Cup.

“Competition is always competition, and we never underestimate competition … Cornell has both [the cup and the plate] from last year and our goal is to hold onto them. Racing is never easy. It’s our first home race and we want to hold on to the cup and plate, so it should be really exciting day of racing, ” Gehman said.

Junior Taylor Goetzinger commented, “We are looking to come on top of this race by a good margin.”

There is a definite home course advantage, as the Red will not have to travel for the first time this season, and the rowers and coxswains are very familiar with the course. Additionally since all three Cornell teams will be at home, there will be large numbers of parents, alumni, and fans for support.

“There is also another advantage specific for this race. Since the boathouse is just being finished, we will be able to use the locker rooms for the first time, which adds a competitive edge with such a nice facility to represent Cornell. We get to not travel, sleep in our own beds, rest up the night before and race on the own water.” Goetzinger said.

Original Author: Nicole Wagner