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Men's crew excels with wins over Rutgers, Hoyas

The men's heavyweight rowing team was supposed to continue its season Saturday at Rutgers, until it received a pleasant surprise.

Originally scheduled as an away race, the heavyweights found themselves on the friendly waters of Lake Carnegie for their unexpected home opener over the weekend.

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The race was forced to move to Princeton from Rutgers after the downpour late last week flooded the Raritan River. High levels of water made it too difficult to set the course, where currents caused some lanes to be faster than others.

The home field advantage probably would not have saved the Scarlet Knights (0-2 overall) anyway, as Princeton (2-0) raced to a convincing victory.

The varsity boat defeated the Knights by 15 seconds – six minutes, 17 seconds to 6:32. Rutgers' second boat sandwiched itself between the Tigers' second varsity boat and the third boat, with times of 6:19, 6:25 and 6:29 respectively.

On par

"All three heavyweight boats raced well," heavyweight coach Curtis Jordan said. "We performed as we expected."

The Rutgers second boat actually defeated its varsity counterpart by seven seconds, but Jordan saw no attempt by the Knights to stack their second boat with first-boat talent.

"A lot of times early in the season, you have a lot of raw talent," Jordan said. "They took some of the big guys out of the first boat because they were raw, and they happened to do well in the second."

The heavyweight races were held around 3 p.m. because the lightweights opened the day with a race against Georgetown at 9 a.m.

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In their first race of the season, the lightweights handily defeated Georgetown. The varsity won 6:09 to 6:19, while the second boat beat the Hoyas 6:15 to 6:40.

"We're pretty excited to start the season like this," senior co-captain Simon Carcagno said. "Georgetown has the best varsity boat that they've had in years this year."

Depth

The two-second margin by which the Tigers' heavyweight varsity beat the second boat, and the six seconds the lightweight first boat defeated its second boat illustrate the depth of both teams. Although a luxury for both coaches, neither has found a final lineup.

The heavyweights changed the lineup of their first boat Saturday from their first race at Navy last weekend. This week the varsity eight was comprised of seniors Topher Bordeau, Morgan Crooks, Marty Crotty and Chris Ahrens, juniors Matt Carlson, Jason Flickinger and Tom Welsh, and sophomore Tom Herschmiller.

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"I'll continue to switch the lineup up to (Eastern) Sprints, until I find the best boat," Jordan said.

Good problems

The lightweights have a similar problem of too many people for too few spots.

"We're still looking for a finished lineup to find the eight fastest," Carcagno said. "We'll play around with it for the next couple of weeks until Harvard and Cornell."

Starting for the lightweights against the Hoyas were senior Rob Milam, juniors Bill Golden, Jon Lawson, Jason Liddell, Scott Perkins and Dan Stout, and sophomores Bill Fedyna and Dan Kaminstein.

"There will be a core in the varsity boat, but I'm certainly going to leave room for people who improve," lightweight head coach Joe Murtaugh said.

"Our improvement needs to be gradual. We need to be sharper, cleaner and more comfortable as the season goes on."

There was one downside to the day for Princeton.

The heavyweight freshman boat lost to Rutgers by eight tenths of a second, 6:28.0 to 6:28.8. It was the first regular season loss by a Tiger freshmen boat in over a year.

The freshmen are in their first year under head coach Greg Hughes, '97. Hughes replaced Mike Teti, who left to become the head coach of the United States National Team.

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