Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Murphy Cup

Last year's Murphy Cup had a nice six boat light four field, but only St. Joe's and Miami of Ohio raced the light eight, in a race won by over a minute by St. Joe's. It's a bit different this year as a six boat light four field returns, along with a five boat light eight field. In fact, the lightweight women's field is much larger than the light men, who only have three light eights entered.

The lightweight four event is comprised of Villanova, Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, Lafayette, Sacred Heart, and Susquehanna. This will be our first chance to see the fall's top four, Pittsburgh, which has to be the clear favorite at this point. CMU has shown the ability to stay close to [beat] Pitt in the past [here two years ago], so we'll see where they stand this year. Lafayette has been paying some attention to lightweights recently and, although this is a bit early in the season for a young boat, will be anxious to show what they can do. Villanova likes to race lightweights a few times during the season, see if they can make any noise, and then melt back into the heavies. When they do make noise, it's always in these early races. Susquehanna has been racing a light four for at least a year now, so they'll be looking for some improvement over last year. Sacred Heart is a bit of an unknown at this point.

In the eight we have Philadelphia, Temple, Penn State, Lehigh, and Bucknell. Bucknell has to be the obvious favorite in this field. It's interesting to see Bucknell in this race for several reasons. First, it's a departure from their usual practice of racing the lightweights as the 2V. Second, some of last year's lightweights have been sucked into the heavyweight boat, so this is not likely to be the fastest boat the Bison can put out. Finally, rumor has had it that Bucknell will not be racing lightweights this year. Clearly they're racing here, so I'll wait for the results before I engage in wild speculation about what they might be up to. Next we'll be looking at Lehigh. Lehigh has been gaining speed the last couple of years and this will be an excellent first test for the boat. It's fortunate for both Bucknell and Lehigh that they'll be side by side in the race. It's good to see Penn State back in the lightweight ranks. The Nittany Lions had a good fall a couple of years ago, but never carried it over into the spring. Philadelphia is a new program and is an unknown, just as Temple is. (See my last post for a bit more on Temple.)

Finally, the Princeton lightweight freshmen usually show up at this race and they're scheduled to be here again, racing in the second heat of the heavyweight novice eight event.

The Murphy Cup is a good lightweight regatta this year and really gets the season off to a great start. In this race alone we have three light eights that we didn't see last year. I'm hoping for good, tight races so that everyone stays on the right side of the Line of Hope.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just like to point out that CMU has show the ability to more than "stay close to Pitt in the past." CMU beat Pitt 2 years ago at this race.