Crew teams compete at Princeton Chase

by Jehanna Axelrod | 10/27/14 3:49pm

Dartmouth’s three crew teams competed in the three-mile Princeton Chase on Lake Carnegie over the weekend, with the men’s lightweight first varsity eight finishing sixth. After a disappointing outing at the Head of the Charles earlier this month, the women’s first eight rebounded with a better finish, coming in 13th of 50 boats.

The women’s second varsity eight took 30th, while the first varsity four placed 25th and the second finished 28th. The men’s heavyweight team entered three varsity boats in the race, which took 21st, 22nd and 44th, respectively. The men’s lightweight second eight finished 19th. The lightweights also entered three boats in the varsity four race, with the B boat taking 23rd and the A taking 25th.

The varsity boat shows promise this fall, lightweight rower Julian Danziger ’15 said, noting that this is unusual.

“Dartmouth usually has a late start because the junior class is off, and although we have some really, really talented juniors that are missing, we have a pretty talented freshman class coming in,” he said. “Two of them have helped our speed a lot in the varsity boat. We’ve been clicking at higher ratings which hasn’t really happened in the fall.”

The second women’s varsity eight turned in a worse performance than last week’s 13th-place finish in the club eight race at the Head of the Charles, but head coach Linda Muri said she thought the boat performed better.

“We worked on some technical changes during the week,” Muri said. “And they were able to execute those changes during the race, which can be quite challenging.”

The women’s C boat finished in 47th place. This was the crew’s first race of the season, so it was a good opportunity for Muri to evaluate them.

“Even though that’s not the major scoring boat, how they do helps support the rest of the team,” Muri said. “The top boats wouldn’t do as well as they did if we didn’t have that third boat of firmly dedicated women as well.”

Three women’s varsity fours also competed later in the day, with the A boat taking 25th with a time of 18:25.344. Dartmouth’s A boat hit a snag about halfway through the race when leaves got caught on the rudder and knocked the boat off course.

“The end result doesn’t look as good, but they were really doing very well,” Muri said.

The men’s heavyweight top two boats finished the three-mile race in nearly identical times — the A boat completed the course in 13:41.868 with the B boat finishing just under one-10th of a second behind.

The close results show that the team is competitive, which according to head coach Wyatt Allen is one of its strengths.

“I think we had one boat that underperformed and another boat that exceeded our expectations,” Allen said.

Dartmouth’s men’s third varsity eight finished in 14:13.193, placing 44th.

Allen said that the fall is generally a time to build endurance for the spring, which is when the team makes its push for nationals.

“At this point in the year we’re working on base fitness, kind of building endurance,” he said. “That’s the base for making fast crews in the spring.”

Danziger said that the lightweights strong results are encouraging, as a strong fall performance usually correlates to a strong spring performance.

He added that the team has been very committed to racing this fall, prioritizing the team.

“I think in the fall if you have a team that’s really committed and healthy and strong and has a good dynamic, then that bodes really well for the winter, which then allows you to pick it right back up in the spring,” he said. “What matters almost more than the speed that we show is our commitment to the team and the team dynamic, both of which have been exceptional this fall.”

In addition to the men’s lightweight first varsity eight, the other two men’s lightweight varsity eights had strong races, too, with the B boat placing 19th in 14:21.838 and the C boat finishing 26th in 15:50.564.

In the lightweight varsity fours race, the Big Green’s second boat overtook its top crew and finished the course in 16:49.045, just under 21 seconds faster than the A boat.

Coming in just a few places behind, in 28th, was Dartmouth’s third varsity four, which completed the course in 17:39.973.

The Big Green hosts the Green Monster novice regatta this Saturday at 12:30 p.m.