It will be a busy morning on Lake Carnegie this Saturday as all four Princeton rowing squads host Ivy League competitors. The open women’s crew will be last to take to the water as they host the first-ever Ivy League Invitational. This regatta will feature all the Ivy League teams except Brown, who will travel next weekend to California to face West Coast crews at the Lake Natoma Invite.
Princeton is currently ranked No. 4 as a team by the CRCA/USRowing poll. The first varsity eight has been off to a speedy start, posting open-water wins over No. 5 Michigan, No. 8 Brown, Notre Dame, and Columbia in its first two races. Princeton’s other NCAA boats, the second varsity eight and varsity four, are 3–1 and 2–2 for the season, respectively.
In the morning session, Princeton will race No. 13 Harvard and Cornell for the Class of 1975 Cup. Followed by a lunch break, the Tigers will return to the water to face No. 19 Dartmouth and Pennsylvania for the Class of 1984 Plaque. The regatta will round out Princeton’s Ivy League regular season racing, save for an April 14 date with No. 7 Yale.
“This weekend will be important to practice racing multiple times, which is definitely something we struggled with in the postseason last year,” said junior Ellie Sawyer, a member of the first varsity eight. She added that “Saturday will be a valuable opportunity to test our speed against good Ivy competition.” The team is especially excited to race Harvard, who suffered only a slim defeat to Brown a week ago.
The Ivy League remains one of the most competitive conferences in women’s rowing, so having the chance to race so many teams in the middle of the season will help the Tigers gain a better sense of their speed compared to the rest of the NCAA. Head coach Lori Dauphiny is also excited to see her Tigers race twice in one day in a schedule that mirrors that of the Ivy League Championship regatta. Racing against the majority of intra-league crews and coming down the course twice in one day no doubt made this an attractive event for Dauphiny’s counterparts across the league.
This weekend will be lent extra significance by the first group of female rowers to graduate from Princeton, as they will be on hand to present the Class of 1975 Cup. Included in this group is Carol Brown ’75, who competed on the first women’s Olympic rowing team for the United States, winning a bronze medal in the women’s eight at the Montreal Games in 1976.
Last spring, each of Princeton’s NCAA boats went 4–0 against Harvard, Cornell, Dartmouth, and Penn. The team will look to repeat that success on home water this season. Last spring’s race against Harvard and Cornell on the Charles River in Boston saw the most challenging conditions many of the open women had ever faced: an unrelenting 25 mph headwind, white-capping waves, and temperatures in the 30s. The quality of Princeton’s racecourse on Lake Carnegie will provide the opportunity to race these teams in fair and consistent conditions.
Come down to the shores of Lake Carnegie on Saturday to cheer on the Tigers or tune in on the Ivy League Digital Network.