It was a historic weekend for Princeton Rowing as the women’s open and men’s lightweight teams won the Ivy League Championship Regatta and Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges (EARC) Sprints, respectively, and the men’s heavyweight team placed second at EARC.
On Saturday, the women’s open team — currently ranked first in the nation — traveled to Lake Quinsigamond, Mass. to claim their third consecutive and eighteenth overall Ivy League women’s rowing title. It was a tight competition throughout the morning, with Princeton trailing No. 3 Yale by seven points in team standing entering the final race. However, the Tigers pulled ahead in the Varsity Eight, defeating Penn by 1.56 seconds and Yale by 5.3. This marks Princeton’s sixth consecutive Varsity Eight first-place finish, and eighth overall in the 10 years of the Ivy League Championship Regatta.
The 2V and 3V also finished the second heat in first place. The Second Varsity Eight went on to claim a silver medal in the finals, finishing 2.43 seconds behind Yale, while the Third Varsity Eight earned a gold medal, crossing the finish line 2.839 seconds ahead of Yale. The Varsity Four A boat finished the morning heats with a three-second win over Harvard, and finished in third overall. The B boat continued the Tigers’ dominance in heats, defeating Brown by 3.6 seconds, and finished the day with a 4.35 second win over Yale in the B final. The C boat placed third and D boat took sixth in the C final.
Six Tigers earned All-Ivy honors this weekend: senior coxswain Hannah Diaz, senior rowers Lydia Rosen and Camille Vandermeer, and junior rower Lucy Koven were named First Team All-Ivy, while sophomore rower Katherine George and senior rower Natasha Neitzell were named Second Team.
Diaz told The Daily Princetonian, “I think we’re all very excited about how the whole team performed — winning the team points trophy really speaks to our depth in every boat class.”
“The Ivy League has been absolutely remarkable as a league in rowing this season with six schools being ranked in the top 20 in the nation,” Diaz added. “It’s amazing to be a part of such a great league, and we hope to see many Ivies get selected [for the NCAA championship] on Tuesday.”
The Ivy League win secured the Tigers an automatic qualification to the NCAA tournament. Princeton is seeded No. 1 in the Eastern Region and will be competing in Camden, N.J. from May 26–28.
On Sunday, the men’s light and heavyweight programs also traveled to Lake Quinsigamond. In the lightweight category, victories secured by both the first and second Varsity 8 ended the No. 1 Tigers’ EARC drought — marking their first EARC title since 2010 and sixteenth overall. This marks only the third time in program history in which both 1V and 2V earned gold medals. This victory also secured them their thirteenth Ivy League title, awarded to the team in the League with the highest place finish at Sprints. The Tigers’ success this season is a remarkable turnaround from last spring when they placed 6th at the IRA National Championship in the 1V and 2V eights.
The Varsity Eight defeated Harvard by 1 second during heats and finished 0.8 seconds ahead of Harvard in the finals. With a strong tailwind on the Lake on Sunday, several course records were set throughout the day. The First Varsity Eight set a course record, clocking a time of 5:35.420. The Second Varsity Eight claimed a large victory in heats, defeating Penn by 3.2 seconds, and secured a close win in the finals, crossing the finish line 0.59 seconds ahead of Harvard. The Third Varsity Eight finished third in its heat and fifth in finals, while the Fourth Varsity Eight did not race in heats, and finished fourth in finals after an equipment issue in Dartmouth’s boat forced a restart. With the Sprints victory behind them, the Tigers are in a strong position going into the IRA Championships, which will take place June 2–4 in West Windsor, N.J.
The No 2. heavyweight program ultimately fell to Yale by three points, tying with Harvard for second place at 33 points. The Varsity Eight came in second, defeating Syracuse by 0.5 seconds. This marks their first medal since the team earned bronze in 2017, and their first silver medal since 2016. The Second Varsity Eight won their heat, edging out Brown by 1.4 seconds, and came in second place in finals, trailing Harvard by 2.136 seconds. The Third Varsity Eight finished third in the heat and fifth in finals, Fourth Varsity finished second in the heat and fourth in finals, and Fifth Varsity raced only in the final, finishing fifth.
This has been a historic season for Tigers Rowing, as the teams celebrated the 150th anniversary of the sport at Princeton, the 100th anniversary of the men’s lightweight program, the 50th anniversary of the women’s open crew, and the 25th anniversary of women’s lightweight crew. The women’s open and lightweight teams went undefeated in the regular season, and the men's heavyweight only lost once this season in a close race against Yale on Carnegie Lake, N.J. The teams are seeking to close out an exciting and memorable season as national championships approach.
Olivia Lechner is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’
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