This weekend, men’s lightweight rowing took off against Dartmouth and Columbia. Out of its six matchups, Cornell took home five first place finishes, in addition to the Baggaley Bowl and Geiger Cup titles.
On Saturday, the team took to the water with strength. In the first Varsity Eight, the teams battled for the Baggaley Bowl, the title eventually secured by the Red after it squeezed out a four second win over Dartmouth.
In the later races, Cornell also emerged victorious. The team won the second Varsity Eight with a time of 6:00.2, nine seconds ahead of Dartmouth’s 6:09.1. The Red continued to dominate in the third Varsity Eight, streaming across the finish line with a 23 second headway.
The following day, the Red faced off against Columbia, fighting for a chance to earn the Geiger Cup. Cornell and Columbia’s Varsity Eights were evenly matched, holding tight to each other throughout the race. However, the cup was handed to the Red after the team managed to secure a 2.5 second lead to claim victory.
In the second Varsity Eight matchup, Columbia denied the Red a weekend sweep, claiming the win by a mere two seconds. In third Varsity Eight, however, the Red concluded its successful weekend with a fifth and final win, marked by a 10 second lead over the Lions.
“The Geiger Cup against the Columbia Lions on Sunday was a battle,” wrote Head Coach Christopher Kerber in an email to The Sun. “Racing Dartmouth for the Bagley Bowl the day before was very competitive. We saw these two highly competitive crews on their home courses. Both programs have been very competitive in the past decade, defined by strong coaching and leadership. They were excellent matchups for us at the end of our dual season.”
During the spring season, the Red has blown the competition away, managing to secure sweeping records up until this weekend. In the dual-season, it boasts a record of 13-1.
Kerber explained that the team’s winning streak is especially impressive considering this spring marks the first return to competition since the COVID-19 cancellations.
“Unprecedented and poignant being it is our first racing season since 2019 and post-COVID,” Kerber wrote.
Additionally, the Red managed to secure wins while racing at its opponents’ home turf. Home-field advantages drastically affect the course of a race, especially if the teams are tightly contested.
Kerber stated that throughout the course of its training, the team has remained vigilant of the high level of competition in the league. Due to its intense dedication to training and high fitness, Cornell is able to power through adverse conditions, such as battling notorious teams on their home waters.
“Since coming off the water last November, the oarsmen have dedicated themselves to our strength and training program,” Kerber wrote. “Each week, our race plans build on the previous race/ training from the week before. In battle it is all about adaptation. We had an opportunity to race twice this past weekend, and our goal was to give these two programs the best racing of the season.”
With a number of wins under its belt, the Red looks to continue its success as it prepares for the EARC Sprints Regatta.
“Given fair conditions on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, the racing at Eastern Sprints should be one of a kind. It is the 60th anniversary of the 1962 three way tie as well – between Cornell, Navy and MIT first Varsity light 8s,” Kerber wrote. “With how tight the racing has been in the last 6 weeks combined with heightened emotions surrounding Eastern Sprints, everything will be turned up! This kind of racing will bring out the best in each one of us. While most of the work and some of the hardest miles are completed, these last few weeks of training will be the most purposeful and deliberate towards our objectives.”
The crew aims to continue its race-day mentality of “make no assumptions,” planning to attack each race with the intention of fully exerting its energy reserves and securing the fastest possible time during each racing endeavor.
“We continue to ‘make no assumptions’ about a number of things both internal to the team and how each competitor will race us,” Kerber wrote. “We can only control how we row and race our boat and within our crew. The crew did the hard work and now we have a 13 and 1 record in four cup races to show for it.”
The Red will return to the water on May 14 and 15 for the EARC Sprints Regatta in Worcester, Massachusetts.