The women’s rowing team began its spring season last Saturday with a sweeping win over rivals Syracuse, Rutgers and Boston University. The Red competed in and won all of its events, including the 1st Varsity 8, the 2nd Varsity 8, the Varsity 4, and the 3rd Varsity 8 events.
“Our goal was to go as fast as we can possibly go,” said senior captain Stephanie Lohberg. “Every boat really did what they were supposed to do.”
Cornell began the day by competing against Rutgers, while Syracuse squared off against BU. As part of the meet’s “double duel” format, after those races were finished, the winning teams competed in a final race, while the losing teams competed in a consolation one.
The Red began the race against Rutgers in the 1V8, finishing with a time of 6:55.7 compared to Rutgers’ 7:10.2. The Red moved on to face BU in the final, where it defeated the Terriers by about nine seconds at a time of 6:46.2.
In the 2V8 race, the Red defeated Rutgers to move on to the final, where it faced familiar rival Syracuse. Cornell continued on to dominate the Orange, logging a time of 6:57.1 and beating the host team by approximately 12 seconds.
Cornell would continue on to face and defeat Syracuse in the rest of its final races, going 7:48.4 to Syracuse’s 8:06.4 in the V4 event and 7:14.7 to Syracuse’s 7:21.9 in the 3V8 event. In both of these events, the Red raced with an additional team that competed in the consolation races. Cornell won both consolation matches, in the V4 event with 7:55.6 and 7:25.4 respectively.
This weekend was a fruitful indicator for the Red’s future performance, as Syracuse has historically been both a dominant and key rival of the Red. In all races, but the 1V8 race where it matched up against BU, Cornell defeated Syracuse in the final race by a comfortable margin.
“We didn’t really know what the margins were going to be,” Lohberg said. “It was a pleasant surprise that we won by the margin we did.”
According to senior captain Margaret Cook, the Red came into the match with the goal of winning every race — a goal predicated on rigorous physical and technical preparation throughout the fall and winter seasons. Cook cited Saturday’s results as proof of the team’s dedication to hard work in the offseason and determination to win every race while inseason.
“Preseason went really well,” Cook said. “It had a big technical focus, which I think is really paying off.”
Cornell’s overall goal for the season is to qualify for the NCAA tournament — either by winning the Ivy League Championships or finishing in a strong stand at the end of the regular season to be invited as one of the 11 “at-large” teams. Its sweeping win against Syracuse on Saturday will certainly help, but Cornell will still have to prove itself against the other Ivy League teams throughout the rest of the season.
Looking ahead to this weekend, the Red will compete against Princeton, a team that Cornell has competed against annually for the past 35 years, and has been defeated only once.
“This weekend will tell us more about how we’ll compete against the Ivy League,” Cook said. “We’re confident that we can be one of the fastest teams in the Ivy League this year.”
Original Author: Alex Gatto