Crew heads for Eastern Sprints

by Ally Hyun | 5/6/94 5:00am

The Big Green women's crew ends the 1994 season at the Eastern Sprints this Sunday on Lake Waramug in New Preston, Conn.

Dartmouth's varsity eight finished the regular season on a high note when it defeated Cornell University last Saturday in Hanover. The win marked the first varsity victory over the Big Red during Big Green women's crew coach Barb Kirch's tenure.

The Big Green are the sixth seed at Sprints this year. Morning heats will determine which crews will advance to the afternoon grand finals. The top two crews in each heat qualify for the finals.

Dartmouth and Princeton University face each other in the same heat, which gives the Big Green a second opportunity to see how they stack up against the defending Sprints champion.

Earlier in the season, the Big Green lost by 15 seconds to the Tigers in Princeton, N.J. even though the two crews were virtually even at the 1,000-meter mark. The Big Green hope to stay with Princeton all the way down the course.

The University of Wisconsin, Rutgers and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are also in the same heat. Of these schools, Wisconsin should be the crew to challenge Dartmouth for the second qualifying spot in the finals.

In the finals, Brown Universtiy and Princeton appear to be the two schools fighting for the gold medal, with Boston University, Yale Universtiy , Radcliffe College, Cornell and Dartmouth in a race for the bronze.

"Absolutely anything can happen at any given moment," Kirch said. "Somebody could beat Brown or Princeton and it could be anyone's race."

The Big Green second varsity eight is seeded fifth, with Brown, Wisconsin, Columbia and the University of New Hampshire in the morning heat.

Brown, the top seed, is expected to win the heat, but again, Wisconsin may challenge Dartmouth for that second spot in the finals.

"They need to have an effective sprint and effective moves," Kirch said of the second varsity. "The have to respond to who's next to them, and I think they can do it."

The third varsity four is ranked fourth at Sprints, but faces tough schools in the morning heat. Dartmouth must finish in the top three against Princeton, Yale A, Yale B and Radcliffe B in order to qualify for the finals.

The first and second novice eights are seeded fifth and seventh, respectively. The novice boats have not collected as many victories as they wanted this season, but they have shown a strong dedication and commitment to making the boat move faster, which may ultimately result in a strong showing at Sprints.

Although the goal for Dartmouth crew is to medal at Sprints, the 1994 season has already proved to be one of the most successful since Dartmouth was the powerhouse in women's rowing during the early 1980s.

With many rowers returning next year and a strong crop of novices ready to move up to varsity, this year at Sprints may mark the beginning of a new era for Dartmouth women's crew.

"This year is a turning point in what I believe the program can do," Kirch said. "Next year it will be a younger squad, so this year we can make a big statement to the league."

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