Princeton men's lightweight head coach Greg Hughes talked about constant improvement throughout the regular season, so that the team would be peaking when the postseason arrived. His talented squad clearly took his advice, as the No. 2 Tigers knocked off top-ranked Yale to regain the Goldthwait Cup and to stake its claim for the No. 1 ranking in the sport.
Princeton won the annual H-Y-P event and returned the Goldthwait Cup to Princeton for the first time since 1999 by winning the first varsity race in 5:49.0. Top-ranked Yale finished second in 5:51.8, while No. 8 Harvard finished third in 5:59.3. Following a season-opening loss to Navy, Princeton was run off six straight wins and will likely gain the top spot over Yale, which earned the nod after defeating Navy earlier in the season. Considering each squad has a win over another in the top three, and with 2007 national champion Cornell and Eastern champion Dartmouth still in the mix, the upcoming Eastern and IRA national championships should be extremely competitive competitions.
Yale was able to sweep the remainder of the regatta, held on the Charles River in Boston, although Princeton nearly pulled off a trio of varsity wins. Yale finished the second varsity race in 5:55.7, 1.2 seconds faster than Princeton. That would be a bigger margin than the third varsity race, where Yale's winning time of 6:04.0 was only .3 of a second faster than Princeton.
The Princeton freshman boat, which entered the weekend ranked second in the latest EARC seeding poll, finished third in 6:06.8.
Princeton will look for its first postseason win since a 2003 Eastern championship when the Tigers head to Worcester, Mass., for the 2008 EARC championships on May 18. Check back with GoPrincetonTigers.com that week for a preview of the event.
Complete Results, courtesy of Row2K.com
First Varsity: Princeton 5:49.0; Yale 5:51.8; Harvard 5:59.3
Second Varsity: Yale 5:55.7; Princeton 5:56.9; Harvard 6:16.7
Third Varsity: Yale 6:04.0; Princeton 6:04.3; Harvard 6:27.0
First Freshman: Yale 5:58.8; Harvard 6:00.7; Princeton 6:06.8