A strong start and a burst at about the 1100-meter mark helped the Princeton men's lightweight crew to a season-opening victory over Navy Saturday morning on the Potomac River. Princeton, which also picked up a win in the first freshmen competition, retained the Joseph Murtaugh Cup with the victory.
"There were good parts and bad parts to the race today, which is typical early in the season," head coach Marty Crotty said. "It's nice to bring the Murtaugh Cup back to Princeton above all, and we'll look at the tape and see how we can make things better for an entire race."
Princeton grabbed a three-seat edge within the first minute, though Navy pushed hard to try and stay close throughout the first 1,000 meters. It was just after the midway point when the Tigers turned a three-seat edge to an eight-seat one, and they pushed that edge to an open water victory over the final 500. Princeton took the race in 5:57.2, while Navy finished in 6:02.5.
Navy capitalized on a bit of a slow Princeton start to win a thriller in the second varsity competition, but Crotty was pleased with the fight that his team showed late. The Tigers charged over the final 500 meters, but still came up one second short.
"With all of the mixing and matching we've been doing over Spring Break, the 2V ends up being a little different every day, so I thought those guys handled that pretty well," he said. "As lineups solidify this crew will get better and more confident."
The freshman race was alsoclose through the opening 1000 meters, with neither crew able to optain more than a three-seat advantage. Similar to the Tiger 1V, the freshman made their move at about the 1100-meter mark, gaining about eight seats over 20 strokes. They continued that push and ultimately won by more than six seconds.
"It's great to see the 1F win their first ever Cup race at Princeton," Crotty said. "The Naval Academy is a spectacular place, and their rowing team has a proud tradition and they always race you very hard, so I hope the frosh will remember this one."
Those same freshmen will get their first taste of home competition atop the Bud Smith Memorial Race Course on Lake Carnegie next weekend. Princeton will host both Georgetown and Columbia in the Fosburgh Cup competition next Saturday, starting at 8 a.m.
Second Varsity Eight
Third Varsity Eight
Navy 4V 6:37.7