Heavyweights sweep Syracuse
The Dartmouth heavyweight men's crew had a landslide victory over Syracuse this weekend to win the Packard Cup for the 12th year in a row. Winning by margins that were unprecedented this season, the heavyweights can now look forward to the Eastern Sprints Championships next Sunday.
The freshman boat had the largest margin of victory over Syracuse, winning by over 30 seconds despite rough conditions and a strong headwind. Syracuse had a good start, but once the rowers settled into a solid race pace in the first 500 meters, Dartmouth began to surge ahead.
Throughout the race, Dartmouth's freshmen kept increasing their lead. Their time, not taking into account the effects of the conditions, was two seconds slower than the second varsity boat's race time.
"Even with a very substantial lead, we continued to push ourselves and test our limits," novice rower Joe Gwin '05 said.
Next weekend, the rowers will focus on beating Navy and Harvard, the fastest crews in their heat at Sprints, in order to finish in the top two and qualify for finals.
The second varsity boat also had a good race, starting to move away from Syracuse when it settled into race pace in the first 500 meters. By the 1,000-meter mark, Dartmouth's second varsity had an advantage of open water on Syracuse. The rowers kept increasing their lead throughout the second half and finished 22 seconds ahead.
"We went into it with the attitude that we'd do whatever it took to win the piece," second varsity rower Patrick Cantwell '04 said.
"And we didn't let anything shake us. We have struggled when dealing with bad weather in the past, especially last weekend against Wisconsin, but this weekend we proved that we can go out and have a good race no matter how rough the conditions are."
Despite taking a little more time to shake loose of Syracuse, Dartmouth's first varsity won by a substantial margin of 12 seconds. For the first 600 meters, the two boats in the first varsity race were about even. Dartmouth took a move of 10 strokes in the second quarter of the race, however, and moved ahead by five seats.
A strong headwind came up in the third quarter, which shook the rowers up, but they remained composed and kept moving significantly ahead of Syracuse during the rest of the race.
"We never stopped moving," captain and first varsity rower Justin Jones '02 said.
"We had something to prove after the disappointing performances of the past two weeks. We need to focus on a week of consistent, sharp and extremely aggressive practices with the same line-up, but we have the skill, horsepower and experience to turn some heads next weekend."
The Dartmouth heavyweight and lightweight men's crews will meet the rest of the EARC league at Sprints Eastern Championships next Sunday at Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass.