The seventh-ranked Princeton open rowing team will conclude its 2013 regular season Saturday morning in a showdown with one of its top competitors from the 2012 NCAA Championships, the University of Michigan.
Princeton finished fourth at the NCAA Championships last year, held at nearby Mercer Lake, but the Wolverines were one of the few teams to grab a higher spot on the medal stand. Michigan, currently ranked 13th in the CRCA/USRowing Coaches Poll, placed second.
The Wolverines also earned a victory over Princeton last season on Lake Carnegie, though that came in the season opener.
This weekend will provide a totally different feel, especially for the Class of 2013, which will race for the final time on Lake Carnegie. Over the last four years, Princeton is 26-2 on Lake Carnegie; this season, Princeton is 5-0, including three wins last weekend during the Class of 1984 Plaque regatta.
“I’m so excited for my last home race, but at the same time I can’t believe my four years rowing for Princeton are coming to an end,” senior Astrid Wettstein said. “I’ve had some of my all-time favorite races on this course and it’s hard to imagine this is the last time I’ll be lining up on that start line.”
The competition will come during a full day of home racing on Lake Carnegie. The heavyweight men will open the morning at 9 am in the Content Cup regatta with Brown, while the women will begin their races at 10:20 am with the B/C Fours. Racing will continue every 20 minutes from there (3V, V4, 2V, 1V).
This will be Princeton’s final tune-up before the postseason, which begins May 19 on Cooper River at the Ivy League Championships. Of course, since there are so few races during the season, there will be no lack of energy or motivation for the Princeton side.
“A race is a race, regardless of if it’s against an Ivy League or a team outside of our league,” Wettstein said. “Having a strong performance on race day can help give you a boost of confidence heading into Sprints. This last race also gives us a chance to see what parts of our race we still need to improve on.”
Wettstein has been a consistent part of the varsity four, which will likely be the third seed at the Ivy Sprints. The four is coming off a hard-fought two-second win over Penn last weekend.
“We have made some important steps over the past three weeks, but we also have a lot of work left to do before Sprints,” Wettstein said. “We feel good about the potential we have to gain over the next couple of weeks, but now is the time we have to work to turn that potential into reality.”