This weekend, the Men’s heavyweight team placed second in the race against Yale and Princeton for the Carnegie Cup.
Yale was the first team to cross the finish line, with a time of 5:25.3. However, the team was disqualified from the race after its coxswain failed to secure one of the buoys. The battle for the cup was between Princeton and Cornell, with each boat powering forward, neck and neck throughout the race. Ultimately, the Tigers won the title with a time of 5:32.19, edging the Red out by a margin of two seconds.
“Nobody had a miracle race where they did something that they haven’t been able to do before,” said Head Coach Todd Kennett. “But they all raced as well as they’ve been practicing, so I was really happy with that. The Varsity Eight, in particular, executed all parts of the race really well — the other boats were just better.”
Throughout the spring season, the Red has demonstrated consistent performances, securing second place in its April 2 battle against Harvard, as well as its race against Syracuse and Navy. This weekend was no different — the Varsity 8’s time buzzed in at 5:34.17, a second ahead of its April 16 race.
During Saturday’s races, Cornell’s other boats also showed consistency, earning third place in the second, third and fourth varsity eights. Their times rang in at 5:44, 5:47.28 and 5:59.31, respectively.
Kennett stated that the team has been working on performing well under pressure, explaining that despite rowing’s high demand for fitness, races often require high levels of focus and mental preparation.
“I think we had a very, very good weekend in terms of our racing, a lot of all the boats seemed to hit a lot more of their potential,” Kennett said. “They calmed their nerves down during race time, and they were able to actually perform what they’ve been practicing. So that was a huge step for us.”
Kennett explained that the team has improved at the mental aspect of racing this season, especially since its races last weekend.
“The weekend before this, we had a number of problems where I think our nerves just didn’t allow us to do our jobs,” Kennett said. “We got a bit tense instead of following the format, going through the steps to warm ourselves properly, and being prepared at the starting line. But this week we had a much more relaxed view of what we were going to do and we were able to execute.”
With the recent string of successful performances, the Red looks to continue its consistency this coming weekend, where it will take off in the home waters of Cayuga to challenge Oregon State, Penn and Georgetown.
“We’re going to have to go into each upcoming race with the idea of each opponent being really dangerous,” Kennett said. “We’re going to need to perform well and not just say ‘this is what we need to do,’ but instead ‘this is how we do it.’ They just need to relax, get in there, and do their jobs so that they can create the speed they’re capable of.”
With these races, the Red also holds the potential to pull ahead of the competition, primarily because of its familiarity with Cayuga Lake.
“Having that home field advantage is enormous,” Kennett said. “It’s our water. We know the terms. We know the wind. We know the entire body of water. I just hope the guys rise to the occasion and make sure that they show off to all their friends and everybody that comes down to see. I hope this is their moment- it’s their one race this year at home, so we aim to take advantage of it.”
This weekend’s races will be held on April 29 and 30. The Red will face Oregon State on Friday, followed by Penn and Georgetown on Saturday.