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No. 2 men’s heavyweight rowing downs No. 12 Navy, No. 1 women’s lightweight dominates No. 2 Harvard-Radcliffe

group of women's rowers pose with silver trophy on dock.
Women's lightweight rowing poses with the Class of 1999 Cup.
Photo courtesy of @tigerwlights/X.

This weekend, the No. 2 men’s heavyweight rowing team and the No. 1 women’s lightweight rowing team officially opened their seasons. The men’s heavies hit the water against the No. 12 Naval Academy Midshipmen, while the women’s lightweights raced against the No. 2 Harvard-Radcliffe lightweights. 

Men’s heavies handles Navy


Despite challenging conditions on the Severn River in Annapolis, Md., the No. 2 men’s heavyweight rowers defeated the Naval Academy Midshipmen Saturday afternoon.

Heading into the race, head coach Greg Hughes ’96 prepared the Tigers for the daunting wet and windy conditions.

“He [Coach Hughes] was trying to get us to focus on doing what we needed to win due to the conditions. He told us it wasn’t going to be conventionally pretty, but to not get too flustered and to just focus on getting ahead as early as possible,” sophomore seven seat Marcus Chute of the varsity eight boat told The Daily Princetonian. 

The Tigers’ varsity eight finished ahead of the Midshipmen with a six second lead and time of 5:44.1. Despite an early lead for the Naval Academy, Princeton quickly regained control of the race and managed to open up the margin, holding their No. 2 position in the Intercollegiate Rowing Coaches Association (IRCA) preseason rankings. The boat also featured sophomore stroke seat Theo Bell and senior seven seat Marco Misasi, who were recently put on the IRCA Athlete watchlist. 

“It was a good first step on the road to winning a national championship and a team points trophy,” Chute noted. “We’ve been improving pretty well each week, getting faster and faster and the boats feeling better and better. We’ve got to keep on going and keep on believing.”

The second, third, and fourth varsity eights also took down the Naval Academy with times of 5:52.0, 5:52.1, and 6:03.0, highlighting Princeton’s dominance over the weekend.


“There’s still a lot we could fix, but we have to keep our foot on the gas, get faster, and row better to build off what we did well this weekend.” First-year seven seat Kian Aminian, who raced in the second varsity eight, told the ‘Prince.’

Due to the harsh water conditions, the fifth varsity eight race was shortened to a 1,000 meter piece, in which the Tigers fell short of the Midshipmen’s time.

The Tigers’ heavies will next host an Ivy League showdown on Lake Carnegie next Saturday against the No. 11 Pennsylvania Quakers and No. 19 Columbia Lions.

“Everyone’s pretty excited to continue racing and keep getting faster. It’s our first race against other Ivy teams next weekend, so the team is looking forward to this chance to face more of our competitors.” Aminian added.

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Lightweight women sweep Harvard-Radcliffe 

This past Saturday, the Princeton Lightweight women’s rowing team showed their strength in their season opener against the Harvard-Radcliffe team, claiming all three wins. After winning their third consecutive national championship last season, the Tiger lightweights are again the defending Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Champions, and are looking to build off of an undefeated 2023 spring campaign.

The morning started off strong with the Tigers’ first victory coming in the double scull race, as junior Amelia Boehle and junior Sidney Bae jumped out ahead and held the lead all the way to the finish, besting the Crimson by an 18.7 second margin.

Princeton continued their successful morning in the varsity four, defeating Harvard-Radcliffe 8:06.8–8:09.3. Unlike the double, the Tigers and the Crimson maintained overlap for the majority of the piece. Through the last 500 meters, Princeton seemed to gain control, and continued this control through the final sprint. The Tigers crossed the line with a three second lead.

Most notably, the Tigers’ varsity eight defended the Class of 1999 Cup for their fifth consecutive year, and now lead the all-time series 18–6. The eights remained bow ball-to-bow ball through the two minute mark of the piece. Though the Crimson began to take seats from the Tigers, the Tigers quickly responded with a powerful move through the 1,000 meter mark. Princeton finished with a three second lead over Harvard-Radcliffe to close out a triumphant weekend. 

“I was happy knowing that the winter training we’ve done has paid off.” First-year three seat Alice McCarthy of the lightweight eight told the ‘Prince.’ “We spent a lot of time doing side by side racing against our other teammates and the women's openweight team. Having that confidence of having past racing experience against other fast crews helped us in that regard.”

Princeton will travel across the country to face the No. 3 Stanford team next weekend in California. 

“We need to stay adaptable. We will be somewhere we are unfamiliar with and have to trust our fitness and our speed.” McCarthy added. “It’s just racing, just have to put your blade in and go fast.” 

Francie McKenzie is a Sports contributor for the ‘Prince.’

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