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The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Crew disappoints at Princeton

Crew rowed through windy, choppy conditions at Princeton. The teams' finishes didn't warm any hearts.
Crew rowed through windy, choppy conditions at Princeton. The teams' finishes didn't warm any hearts.

The winds were a huge factor in the races, giving the larger and more powerful teams a big advantage.

Like the previous two races, the Princeton Chase was a head race. Head races are single-file events in which each boat has a staggered start and is concerned with its individual time.

The women's open eight competition had 54 boats in the water. The first Dartmouth boat placed ninth in 16:39.0 and the other women's boat finished in 17:18.3, taking 27th place. The winning boat, Virginia, finished in 15:50.93.

"We managed as best we could in the conditions and raced hard, but suffered from an overall lack of power. We will address this weakness in our next few weeks of training," women's head coach Wendy Levash said.

"The course itself is much simpler than the Charles, with fewer boats and bridges and only one big sweeping turn, but the wind once again made it difficult to steer a perfect course," women's team captain Anne Kennedy '07 said.

In previous years, the women's team might have been less determined to better itself after similar results, but this year's team is not as complacent towards its performance.

"The women have set higher standards and expect more from themselves this year," Levash said.

Improvements have already been seen since last week at the Head of the Charles, where Northeastern bested the Big Green by almost four seconds. At the Princeton Chase, Dartmouth beat Northeastern by almost 10 seconds. The Big Green also improved against Radcliffe, finishing 14 seconds ahead at Princeton after rowing to a three-second margin at the Head of the Charles.

Out of a total of 30 boats, the first Dartmouth lightweight eight boat took 14th in 15:09.5 and the second Dartmouth lightweight eight boat took 26th place with a time of 15:51.5. Cornell took first place in the lightweight eight race with a time of 14:25.7, just ahead of Navy with a time of 14:25.9.

"I thought both boats struggled to find their strides and neither handled the conditions as well as I had hoped [they would]," men's lightweight coach Steve Perry said.

"Our biggest weakness was that we did not stay composed when we came around the turn into the headwind. Our technique and power application fell apart, and Delaware began moving into us at that point," men's lightweight captain Will Suto '07 said.

Due to the elements, the men's lightweight four boat competition was canceled.

The Dartmouth heavyweight eight boat finished the race in a time of 15:43.3, taking 31st place out of 37 teams. In finishing over a minute and a half faster than the Dartmouth boat, Yale took first place in a time of 14:04.5, while Princeton came in second, finishing in 14:18.3.

"It was a poor race and it stung bad to place so low," heavyweight team captain Abe Clayman '07 said.

"It's easy but counterproductive to blame disappointing results on conditions or courses. All of the crews out there rowed the same course we did, and all of them rowed in the same conditions. Many of them were faster than we were," men's heavyweight coach Topher Bordeau said.

Under the leadership of Bordeau, the heavyweights are heading into the winter determined to improve and shake off the past two disappointing races.

"The race results gave us an idea about how much work we're gonna have to do this winter so we can go out and beat a lot of these faster crews in the spring. We're prepared to work very, very hard over the next five months to make that happen," heavyweight team co-captain Jeremy Feldman '07 said.

Dartmouth is hosting the Green Monster freshman races Saturday afternoon. The races will be on the Connecticut River, starting at the finish lines used in the spring race course about three miles upriver and finishing at Ledyard Bridge by the boathouse. The men's race is scheduled to start at noon and the women's race at 12:30 p.m.

"I think that the Dartmouth frosh are prepared to race and there is no better way to start your racing career than on your own home course. I am expecting the freshmen to race hard, but most importantly prepare themselves for the Belly of the Carnegie," lightweight freshman coach Brian Conley said.

"There will be some big steps to take as these guys prepare for the spring racing and next year as varsity rowers. Going to battle this fall is one of those steps. Looking beyond the fall, our winter training will include a number of big steps in their fitness and toughness," freshman heavyweight coach Eric Kratochvil said.

"There will be over 40 boats on the river on Saturday and most of the rowers are in their first months as athletes in the sport. This race is all about staying in the boat, getting the blade in the water and pulling hard," freshman women's coach Amelia Siani said.

The varsity teams will not race again until November 18th at the Foot of Charles in Boston.