Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Princeton Pretenders?

While taking over the number one position in the latest coaches' poll, Princeton still lost a first place vote to Radcliffe. Clearly someone thinks that the Tigers are made of paper. For further insult, the Princeton rowers need look no further than the cMax rankings (the Cornell ghost boat has remained sunk). Here Princeton is third, behind Wisconsin and Radcliffe. All three of these boats are listed within a second of each other, so that's pretty close to a tie. Nonetheless, Princeton is third.

It's also interesting to compare the separation among the various categories in the cMax rankings. In no other category, men or women, heavy or light, are the top three boats so close together. Move to the top four and the lights look the same as the heavy women. Beyond that, however, things spread out pretty quickly. The #5 boat, UCF, is projected to be 15.2 seconds behind Wisco. To get to 15.2 among the heavies you have to go to the #8 boat. At #6 in the lights is OSU, projected at 19.7 seconds back. You have to go all the way to #20 in the heavies to get that far back. These rankings suggest that no where else in rowing is the top end so competitive, nor is the field so shallow. Therein lies the problem for women's lightweight rowing. Several schools are working on this with dedicated lightweight programs, but boats of opportunity will never catch up. Those programs that truly focus on lightweight rowing create the best competition anywhere and those kinds of programs are the goal. Thank goodness for schools like Georgetown, Stanford, MIT, UCF, and URI, because they are the future of lightweight rowing.


Anonymous said...

You either forgot to mention a fairly key school under the category of 'the future of lightweight rowing' or you are underestimating them.

Anonymous said...

Those are the only schools that have dedicated LW rowing coaches outside of Wisco, Princeton, and Radcliffe so her list is accurate. Ohio State, Dayton, and Bucknell all pool off the girls who come up through their normal varsity openweight team progression (recruting HS rowers or starting fresh from the novice program).

JW Burk said...

Yes, the previous comment explains what I was looking at exactly. My intention was not to comment on speed this year, but on the school's commitment to lightweight rowing as evidenced by a dedicated lightweight coach.