Monday, November 14, 2005

The Freshmen Have at It

It was another beautiful day in Princeton for the Belly of the Carnegie, although we could have done with less wind. The lightweight freshmen crews from Princeton, Radcliffe, and Georgetown hit the water, all trying to draw the first blood of their collegiate careers. Radcliffe showed the most depth as it was the only program able to boat two boats of lightweights. Despite the Belly rule of even boats, since the other schools only entered one boat Radcliffe was asked to stack it's first eight so all crews could get a feel for where they stand heading into the winter. Although they started about two thirds of the way back in the field, Princeton went off first, followed by Radcliffe, then Georgetown, and then Radcliffe (2). Princeton and Radcliffe battled all the way down the course, even as the Tigers interlocked oars with a Villanova boat for 5 to 10 strokes. A power ten pulled them away and the real race continued. In the end, Princeton was 13 seconds faster then Radcliffe, who was followed by Georgetown another 58 seconds back, with the second Radcliffe boat another 62 seconds back.

Princeton and Radcliffe were 8th and 10th overall in this heavyweight event, with Princeton rowing faster than both of its heavyweight boats (of course, those boats were to be evenly matched). Princeton can now feel good about themselves for a few days, while Radcliffe and Georgetown can take solace in the fact that last year's Princeton freshmen, who won Eastern Sprints, were beaten at the Belly by Georgetown (Radcliffe didn't enter). Nobody takes solace, however, in the fact that Wisconsin wasn't there. The Badger freshmen remain in the midwest holding their cards close to their vest, hoping to spring a nasty surprise on the competition come April.

Finally, in one of those curious lightweight anomalies, both the Princeton and Georgetown lightweights were the fastest women's boats on the water for their schools, yet neither time counted in the calculation for the Belly Bowl. If you don't have a lightweight race, then the least you could do is count the lightweights as equal competitors and use their times if they're fastest. I really don't understand that.

Some row2k pictures (I think I'm linking to the right ones):

Princeton lights
Radcliffe lights
Georgetown lights
Radcliffe lights

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