Sunday, April 29, 2007

Who's #2?

There's a little discussion going on in the comments section of my last post that's now ready to bring to the front page.

As I was looking at the results of the Radcliffe - Princeton dual, I began to compare times across races. Now, we all know that you usually can't do this because conditions (including race intensity) vary too much across races. But, like all of you I often do it anyway. I first noticed that the Princeton 2V was faster than Radcliffe's 1V and only 3 seconds off of it's own number 2 ranked 1V. That would make them roughly the third or fourth fastest lightweight crew. I then moved on to the freshmen. Lo and behold the Radcliffe freshmen had the fastest time of the day! Well, now it was time to fall back on the fact that you usually can't compare races, and I let it go.

The first comment to that post pointed out the freshmen time, and I responded with the conventional wisdom, but wondered if the race used stakeboats (which would make times more comparable). Well it turns out they did and, as Aaron Benson (an MIT coach) noted, the conditions were excellent and very similar across all the races. Yikes! It looks hard to deny - the fastest lightweight boat on the water in Boston on Saturday was the Radcliffe freshmen! Yeah, it's only a second and if Princeton was pushed... But wait a minute, were the Radcliffe frosh pushed? Nope. What are those kids eating up there - Wheaties? Or is it superior coaching from Eric Catalano? Whatever, this is one fast boat.

The stage may be set for Sprints, but how about IRAs? I'm guessing that Coach Tucker will keep this boat together for Sprints so they can win a much deserved championship. Then she'll have two weeks to use all the freshmen and put together a faster varsity boat. I doubt the Radcliffe eight at IRAs will look like the boat we've been seeing all season. I thought Radcliffe would have more speed than they've shown so far, but I didn't think it would come from the freshmen.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

:)

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Aaron Benson said...

Let me clarify that when I said the times were "more comparable than usual" that day, I did not mean that they should be viewed as gospel. There are always issues of comparing between races, even in the best conditions. I also point to my disclaimer about personally observing only one of the two races in question.

The point was to give more information about conditions (did anyone look at the link?) that day, not to argue that the frosh are necessarily faster than the varsity.

My apologies if I touched a nerve for anyone, I was just trying to contribute to an interesting discussion.

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