Sunday, April 22, 2007

Saturday's Racing - The Top Tightens

Number one Princeton's first opportunity to measure itself against a Sprints foe on Saturday, resulted in a 5.5 second victory over Georgetown. What does this tell us? Not much, and a lot. It tells us Princeton is fast, but perhaps not as fast as Wisconsin who beat Georgetown last week by 11 seconds. It tells us Georgetown is fast, but perhaps not as fast as Stanford who came within 3 seconds of the Tigers last week. Then again... Princeton was racing on an unfamiliar course, times were fast making spreads a little tighter, and Georgetown didn't sit still for a week. All told, probably worth a few seconds. But in the end, here's where we are - neither Princeton nor Wisconsin have reason to believe one is faster than the other, and the same can be said about Georgetown and Stanford. Georgetown and Stanford are close to the two leaders and getting faster, making both viable threats to knock them off. Here's the best part - Georgetown, Wisconsin, and Stanford all race each other this weekend in Indianapolis, along with host Ohio State.

The Georgetown freshmen surprised Princeton with an emphatic 11 second win, after losing to the Tigers by 3 seconds at Knecht. Princeton's 2V continued to show the depth of that program with a dominating 27 second victory over Georgetown.

Radcliffe, meanwhile, who has (temporarily) slipped off the edge of the radar screen, posted an 18 second victory over MIT. Radcliffe's 2V was a little over 8 seconds back from MIT. The good news for MIT, though, came in the four, which remained undefeated among lightweights as it beat Radcliffe by a little over 20 seconds. It would really be nice to see MIT and Pitt race down a course somewhere. Radcliffe's freshmen continue to hammer all opponents. A steadily improving Radcliffe crew takes on Princeton this coming weekend in Boston.

At The Big Row, Stanford took care of Cal in both the eight and the four, winning the eight by 11 seconds and the four by 49 seconds. Stanford also put a scare into the Cal heavyweight 3V [earlier in the day], losing by a little over 3 seconds. I'm not sure which race was first. Not a terribly trying day for the Cardinal, but in case you've missed this point earlier, Stanford is fast.

At the A10 championships there were four boat races for both the eight and the four. (It's amazing what awarding team points will do for an event.) In the eight, Dayton recovered from a lackluster, and fatiguing, Knecht to win the title over Duquesne. Although Dayton beat Duquesne earlier in the season, at Knecht the Dukes looked to be the faster crew. Dayton would have none of it, however, as they retain their A10 title by 14 seconds. Duquesne was followed 5 seconds later by a surprising Temple crew that finished 5 seconds ahead of UMass. UMass looked like they could be strong after their MIT dual, but apparently that race was more a sign of an off day by MIT than a really fast UMass boat. Duquesne, who has come out of nowhere this year to really make some noise in the lightweight league, won the four in a championship record time of 7:56.0. Three seconds later came UMass, followed by URI and LaSalle. URI is no doubt racing the remnants of the old lightweight squad when an opportunity presents itself, while LaSalle probably put a boat together in an attempt to earn some team points. I'm beginning to wonder if the A10 is where we'll see the next wave of strong lightweight crews emerge. Of the four eights racing for the championship, three are racing regularly this season, with UMass also racing once outside of the championship. With lightweights scoring team points at this regatta, there is an incentive to develop good lightweight crews. It doesn't happen overnight, but this shows how lightweight team points can help the growth of the league.

At the Midwest Rowing Championships the Wisco lights were everywhere. Highlights include a win in the novice eight over several of their own heavyweight boats as well as Northern Michigan, a 4th place finish in the heavy four behind their own heavies but ahead of Drake, and a win in the heavyweight 2V over their own heavies. In the heavy V8, the Wisco heavies retained the boathouse speed crown along with the boathouse weight crown as the lights came in third behind their boathouse mates, 18 seconds from first place. One other race of note was the 2-. It was populated completely by Wisco lightweights. I love to see college rowers rowing small (2x/- or 1x) boats because it is so incredibly helpful for big boat rowing. As an opposing coach, I would hate to see 10 Wisconsin lightweights racing pairs.

In the light four at SIRAs, Georgia continues to dominate the south, defeating second place Auburn by 14 seconds. Clemson was third, followed by Washington University. Purdue won the novice light four by 38 seconds over the College of Charleston, who was followed closely by Warren Wilson. UT Chattanooga and Auburn were fourth and fifth. Purdue has put out some fast lightweight crews in years past, so maybe this is a sign of a resurgence.

The UConn light four was back on the water, beating two Buffalo boats by 8 and 17 seconds. Later in the day the Buffalo light eight defeated heavyweight 2Vs from Eastern Michigan and UConn.

On Mission Bay Chapman and UCSD raced lightweight eights, with Chapman rowing to a 5 second victory. Maybe it's a Stanford halo effect, but it seems to me we've seen more light eights racing on the West Coast this season.

There is a race report, but no results, for a tri-meet among Carnegie Mellon, Duquesne, and Pittsburgh. The Duquesne women were at A10s, but it looks like there was a CMU-Pitt light four race scheduled. [Update: A reader comments that Pitt won.]


Anonymous said...

Pitt won by a lot

Anonymous said...

I was at Midwest this weekend, and there were initially more pairs entered than the five Wisco lights. The others scratched for safety reasons because there was a cross wind of 17 mph with frequent gusts over 25 mph.

Anonymous said...

Is there a Wisco 2v and ,if so, where has it been all season?