Head coach Lori Dauphiny hoped the momentum of a strong 2009 postseason would translate when the eighth-ranked Princeton open women began their 2010 season. With a win in the Class of 1987 Oar Award regatta against a pair of Top 10 opponents, it seemed that there is still plenty of positive energy in Princeton.
Princeton opened its season on its own Lake Carnegie Saturday morning against No. 5 Brown and No. 10 Ohio State, and the Tigers won a hard-fought varsity eight showdown to claim The Class of 1987 Oar Award. The Tiger varsity eight, led by senior co-captains Sara Hendershot and Ariel Frost, won the top race in 6:38.6, while the fifth-ranked Bears placed second in 6:41.2. The tenth-ranked Buckeyes finished third in 6:55.0.
Each school won one race in the trio of NCAA competitions. Brown won the second varsity eight race in 7:01.9, a time that beat Princeton by less than three seconds (7:04.8). Ohio State won a tightly contested varsity four in 7:55.6; Brown took second in 7:57.6, while Princeton was just behind that time in 7:58.1.
Princeton's fourth boat of the morning was the third varsity, and it took third in its race in 7:54.0.
The varsity eight win was a positive start for Dauphiny, who expressed early optimism about the infusion of youth in her program. With freshmen now able to compete in the varsity eight all season, the veteran Princeton coach believed a deep Class of 2013 would be able to assist a program that both medalled at the 2009 EAWRC Championships and reached the grand final at the 2009 NCAA Championships.
Princeton will remain home next weekend to take on both Rutgers and Columbia, with the regatta scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m.