Lightweights Continue Platt Cup Success
Rowing in the comfort of Ithaca, Cornell’s top-ranked men’s lightweights took its fifth Platt Cup in the last six attempts, facing tough competition from No. 4 Princeton. The day began with the fifth varsity eights from both teams facing off, joined by a Navy heavyweight eight as a guest.
Though not a qualifying time, Navy easily won that race, and Princeton edged out Cornell by 1.7 seconds. Princeton also squeaked by Cornell in the fourth and second varsity categories, while the Red took close races in the first and third eights.
“What we could have done better was simply stay more composed towards the end of the piece,” said senior Trevor Frey of the third varsity eight. “The rowing never got bad, and it never wasn’t aggressive, but we could have stayed on the pace more in the last 500.”
Lightweight head coach Chris Kerber was not surprised by the efforts put forth on the water by some of the country’s top rowers.
“It was exciting to witness these athletes from two top programs push themselves so hard over the 2k distance on the inlet; no race was won by more than four seconds, so all crews had to race very hard over the entire distance,” Kerber said. “As [assistant coach] Bill Brumsted says, there are ‘no easy buckets.’ The first varsity showed real poise in the face of being down nearly a length at the halfway mark. With their physiology, maturity and trust at the right moments of the race, they were able shift the momentum and come out on top.”
This weekend, the lightweights travel to New York City to compete for the Geiger Cup. Kerber expects his team to trend upwards with continuous practice in the water.
“At this point of the season our fitness capabilities are still greater than our ‘boat moving’ abilities,” Kerber said. “We just finished our third week on the water so as we add more strokes on the water, I expect some upside opportunities with each crew’s efficiency in the boat, especially as the physiological realities of racing kick in.”
The Red will face No. 7 Columbia and No. 12 MIT on Saturday.
“I expect both programs to be fast — Columbia is returning National Champion and earned the Geiger Cup last year,” Kerber said. “MIT has a solid squad.”
Heavyweights Look Past Subpar Weekend
Also at home, the heavyweight rowing team hosted Navy and Syracuse at Cayuga Lake inlet. The Midshipmen swept all four varsity races, with the Red finishing last in the first, second and fourth varsity eights, as well as taking second in the third eight.
“I’m not disappointed with what we did, but I’m not excited,” said head coach Todd Kennett ’91. “We managed to be competitive, we just couldn’t figure out how to win. All the boats did a pretty good job of sticking their nose into the fray and being there for the body of the race, but in that third 500 [of the 2k race], where it really matters, I think we worked hard enough but we didn’t work smart enough.”
“That’s all it was — no boat was really far off,” he added.
The No. 12 ranked heavyweights travel to Lake Carnegie this weekend to race at the Carnegie Cup, taking on hosts No. 4 Princeton and No. 3 Yale, in addition to making up a previously postponed race against Harvard in the afternoon.
“We’re up against three monsters — we’ve got our backs up against the wall, there’s no question about it,” Kennett said. “We really have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so looking at it that way, if we go out and just put a few things together and hope — we’re a young crew, and young crews can do that kind of thing, so that’s what we’re looking to do.”