During his brilliant Princeton career, Robin Prendes '11 captured gold twice at both the Eastern Sprints and the IRA National Championships. He stroked Princeton to a Temple Cup win at the 2009 Henley Royal Regatta. Now he focuses on the biggest medal in the sport — Olympic gold.
Prendes stroked the U.S. LM4- to a victory in the final at the 2012 Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland. A top-two finish was necessary for qualification, but the U.S. went one step further and edged the Netherlands for victory by less than .2 of a second.
The U.S. trailed both Serbia and the Netherlands after 500 meters, but a strong push in the middle of the race moved the American crew to second after 1000 and first after 1500 meters. The U.S. held off the hard-charging Dutch boat for a win in 6:01.85, while the Netherlands took second in 6:01.99. Ultimately, both will celebrate the result en route to the 2012 London Games, as both topped third-place New Zealand (6:03.31) by more than one second.
"I'm thrilled for Robin and the U.S. lightweight crew," said Princeton lightweight head coach Marty Crotty. "Just ecstatic. Robin is tough enough as it is, but he showed today just how resilient he is when his back is against the wall. He and the rest of the crew had to have a huge performance today to qualify for the Olympics and they did. Go Tigers, go USA."
Robin Prendes, a recipient of the 2011 Roper Trophy as one of the top male senior student-athletes at Princeton, will join teammates Nick LaCava, Will Newell and Anthony Fahden at the 2012 Olympics.
Another former Princetonian will try to earn a berth Wednesday, as former open NCAA champion Gevvie Stone '06 finished second to Denmark’s Fie Udby Erichsen in the second semifinal to advance to the final. Stone will meet Denmark and Estonia again in tomorrow’s final at 5:10 p.m. local time, along with Australia, Serbia and Ireland from the first race. The U.S. will need to finish in the top four in order to qualify for London.