The Cornell women’s rowing team competed in this weekend’s Clemson Invitational against a large field of strong rivals, including fellow Ivy League rivals Columbia and Penn, No 4. Ohio State, No. 14 Washington State and No. 19 Duke.
During the first day of competition, the Red’s second varsity eight placed fifth — finishing ahead of rivals Penn and Oregon State — to claim the Breakout Boat title of the regatta.
“The second varsity eight had a great overall weekend,” said head coach Elizabeth Dennison. “This young crew … really came together over the course of the weekend and had aggressive, tight racing. Their final on Sunday was really fun to watch, with only 1.6 seconds separating first from fifth place.”
The crew of the second varsity eight included senior coxswain Casey Fitzpatrick, juniors Sophia Clark and Isabella Calderon, sophomores Basia Sudol, Georgia Seehaus, Morgan Macey, Sheehan Gotsch and Rachel Padula, and freshman Jaquelyn Shroyer.
The second varsity eight also bested Columbia during Saturday’s afternoon session. At the same time, the second varsity four finished third to advance to the B-Level finals. The second varsity four would go on to finish as the Red’s top boat of the weekend, with fifth place in the B-Level final.
“The varsity four had a sharp final race on Sunday,” Dennison said. “They had been showing that speed in practice throughout this past week, and it was great to see them perform on race day and earn the win.”
Given the unusual nature of the race — teams competed three times the usual amount over the course of the weekend — Dennison was satisfied with the overall performance.
“Overall, it was a very solid weekend of racing for our entire squad,” she said. “The crews were able to learn a lot about how to race smart, hard and together, and be ready to do so back-to-back over the course of a weekend.”
The Red’s performance was made even more noteworthy considering the caliber of the opposition. Of the 21 teams in attendance, 11 had been ranked in the top 20 teams nationally at one point in the season.
“It was a deep, fast field against which tested our speed, including [against] Ivy rivals Penn and Columbia,” Dennison said. “It was great to be able to race against teams from all over the country and see what kind of speed there is outside our league.”
The Red now looks ahead to hosting Dartmouth in the Parent’s Cup — a match which will also play host to the team’s Senior Day honoring the contribution of the senior members of the team. Each competition will become an increasingly more important opportunity for the team to prepare for the Ivy League championships at the end of the season.
Cornell will host Dartmouth at the Cayuga Lake Inlet this Saturday, April 29 at 8:50 a.m.