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Lightweights Edge Brown Heavies For Program's First Henley Crown Since 1973
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Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications
Release: 07/05/2009
The exclamation point on a perfect season of rowing came Sunday for the Princeton men's lightweights, who capped an EARC, Ivy League and national championship season by winning the 2009 Temple Challenge Cup at the Royal Henley Regatta. Princeton, which became only the second lightweight crew to win Henley in the last 36 years, edged the Brown freshman heavies by 3/4 of a length to win.

It was the second straight win by 3/4 of a length for Princeton, which had advanced through the first three rounds of Henley with wins of at least two lengths apiece. After defeating Neurus of the Netherlands by 3/4 of a length in the semifinal, Princeton faced off against a fellow Eastern champion, the Brown freshman heavies.

"The race was fantastic," said head coach Greg Hughes, who led the Princeton freshman heavies to a 2003 Henley Temple Challenge Cup title. "It was a good battle for two, two and a half minutes with no more than a foot between either boat. We made a really nice move to take a little bit of a lead and pressed it out from there. It was a really solid Brown crew and a great battle."

"Congrats to the Princeton crew. They did a fantastic job."

This is Princeton's ninth Henley title overall and first since the 2006 heavyweights won the Ladies Challenge Plate; that crew consisted of several rowers from the 2003 Temple Cup winner. Ironically, that crew defeated the Princeton men's lightweights in the final to win a Henley title. Since the 1973 Princeton lightweights won at Henley, the only American collegiate crew to win a Henley title was the 2000 Yale Bulldogs.

Princeton began the week by defeating the University of Bristol 'A' crew in the first round by 2 1/2 lengths and followed with a 3 1/2 length win over Newcastle on Thursday. A 2 1/4 length win over the University College of Dublin 'A' sent Princeton to the weekend, where it would need two tight wins over Neurus and Brown to win the title.

It ends a perfect season of rowing for Princeton, which went 8-0 in the regular season and posted convincing wins in both the Eastern Sprints and IRA national championships. Following a national championship, the Tigers hit international waters and once again claimed a championship.

Below is an inside look at the Princeton men's lightweights, filmed by TigerCam during the regular season. Below that are some images from Princeton's win in the Goldthwait Cup over Harvard and Yale.

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