For her first collegiate rowing experience, the Princeton women’s lightweight rowing team took freshman Christina Warren to San Diego.
The next time she rows for Princeton outside of New Jersey, she will be a sophomore.
Warren, along with Juliette Hackett and Katie Mirabella, made their Princeton debuts at the San Diego Crew Classic last weekend, where the Tigers raced twice in a five-boat field. Both times, the Tigers came in second to reigning IRA champion Stanford, though the second race was significantly closer than the first.
“My first collegiate racing weekend was amazing,” Warren said. “San Diego was absolutely gorgeous, the boat had some really solid pieces to start our season off, and we came back feeling good about the work we have put in throughout the winter and the first few weeks of spring water time. I’m super excited about the rest of our season.”
The rest of the season will occur over three different courses, all located in the Garden State. That stretch starts this weekend at the Knecht Cup, held at nearby Lake Mercer. It will be a good practice run for the Tigers, who will return there on June 1 to seek their first national championship since 2003.
Princeton knows much work must be done to seriously challenge for a national title, and the rowers have embraced that philosophy early this season.
“I really want to continue improving my rowing technically,” Warren said. “Paul and Hank have been really helpful in refining and improving my stroke and I think at this point that is what I am focused on most improvement wise, especially because these improvements will allow me to be more efficient on the water and hopefully can help make the boat go as fast as possible.”
While the coaching staff has pointed to this freshman trio as an infusion of both speed and energy in the boat, Warren is quick to note that her experienced teammates have shown the Class of 2017 the way early this season.
“The upperclassmen have been critical to my development as an athlete and to our development as a team,” she said. “They all bring such a positive attitude to the boathouse and have kept us constantly pushing forward, especially through the brutal winter we just had. They give me and the other underclassmen goals to strive towards as athletes and as people.”