Saturday, April 07, 2007

Saturday Races

Although UCF may have suspected psychological warfare, the Golden Knights arrived in Princeton earlier in the week to a swirling snow squall. For some, it was their first glimpse of the white stuff. Unfortunately for both UCF and MIT the reception never really got warmer.

Although the results aren't yet posted, a reader wrote in to say that Princeton won the V8 race by several lengths open, followed by UCF in second, a length ahead of Princeton's 2V in third, which was a length ahead of MIT. Princeton's freshmen beat two MIT frosh boats (great situation for the Engineers to have two frosh boats), despite catching a boat stopping crab during the race. The first heat of the afternoon fours race was taken by Princeton while the second, and faster, heat was won by MIT with Princeton second and UCF third.

This was a race that had a little bit for everyone. Princeton was strong and maintained it's status as favorite. A young UCF crew beat MIT and jumps them in the rankings. MIT showed that they can still put together a formidable four, while the eight is likely suffering from that most curable of problems - early season conditioning. Princeton's 2V, meanwhile, shows that if it were a separate school, it would deserve a ranking easily in the top ten.

In Rhode Island, Radcliffe raced in the 2v event against Bucknell, URI, and BC, finishing fourth. A difficult two weekends for the Black and White as after losing to Georgetown last week, the 1V finishes 20 seconds behind a Bucknell 2V that only beat Princeton's lightweight 2V by a little more than 3 seconds. The Radcliffe frosh continued their dominating ways as they defeated URI and BC heavy freshmen. Bucknell, in what looked like a potential IRA boat, put a light eight on the water for the 3V race, which included Radcliffe's 2V. Bucknell beat the Black and White by 30 seconds (and the URI 3V by 15). It would be nice to see a Bucknell lightweight eight race someone in the top ten so we can see their speed and get them ranked.

With such a dominating freshman boat and a varsity that is struggling a bit, it wouldn't be surprising to see a freshman or two move up to the varsity. It would be unfortunate for that freshman crew, but it's all about the V8.


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't moving freshmen into a varsity 8 be somewhat similar to moving lightweights into heavyweight boat?

Anonymous said...

how so? its all one team.

JW Burk said...

Yeah, I'm not sure what you're getting at there.

Anonymous said...

I'm not the original poster, but it seems to me that the similarity comes from taking fast rowers from a more restricted category (frosh event, lightweight event) to make a faster boat in a less restricted category (varsity event, openweight event).

You delegitimize the frosh event by advocating using the fastest rowers in the less restrictive varsity event, but ask teams to hold the restrictive lightweight event sacrosanct by not rowing fast lightweight-sized rowers in less restrictive open eights.

I may be putting words in the original poster's mouth, but I think the point is that maybe it ought to be about the fastest BOAT, regardless of class year OR size of the rower.

JW Burk said...

Oh, I see. Actually, I agree with you 100% that it's about the fastest boat. Because of the focus of FITD, I don't think I've ever really addressed that question. I understand that every program's mission is to get the fastest boat regardless of weight. The heavyweight eight will always take precedence for that reason and will always be more glamorous. I don't believe, however, it should always be about getting the second fastest boat, i.e. 2V heavies over the lightweight 1V. I also think that coaches have strategic decisions to make when their fastest heavyweight boat is cannon fodder but they could put out a competitive lightweight boat. I think this is a pretty important discussion and I hope to write a separate post on it in the next few days.

Anonymous said...

The comment on the original post hit exactly what I was trying to get at. (I was the original poster)