Princeton has 38 varsity teams, and 37 of them have had the opportunity to compete in front of their home fans. The 38th will hit the water this weekend, as the Princeton women’s lightweight crew will take on Eastern rival Georgetown Saturday morning for the Class of 2006 Cup.
The Tigers did finally get to compete in their home state last weekend, as they finished third in the Knecht Cup competition on Cooper River in Cherry Hill. The fifth-ranked Tigers fell to two of the top-ranked programs in the nation. Second-ranked Wisconsin won the event, while third-ranked Bucknell placed second overall.
Princeton, which won its qualifying heat a day earlier, finished third in the final, and it also grabbed a fourth-place finish in the varsity four competition.
The Tigers will get two more chances on Cooper River, starting May 13 with the EAWRC Championships, where they will enter as the defending champions. However, races against its two top local rivals are in the more immediate future, and that begins Saturday against sixth-ranked Georgetown for the Class of 2006 Cup.
The regatta will begin at 9:30 am, with the varsity eight competition scheduled to begin at 9:45.
Princeton has won every regular season competition with the Hoyas, including each one since the Class of 2006 Cup was first introduced. Last season, the top-ranked varsity eight was in total control of its race, winning in a time of 7:39.3, more than 17 seconds faster than Georgetown.The varsity four was also impressive, as both the Princeton A (8:36.7) and Princeton B (8:52.6) topped the Hoyas’ time of 9:02.2.
Princeton will stay home the following weekend to compete with third-ranked Radcliffe for The Class of 1999 Cup.
Princeton Lightweight Women: The Class of 2006 Cup v. Georgetown
9:30 Second Varsity
9:45 First Varsity: The Class of 2006 Cup
Princeton Men’s Lightweights: Wood-Hammond Cup v. Penn, with Georgetown
10:00 Third Varsity/Second Freshmen
10:20 First Freshmen
10:40 Second Varsity
11:00 First Varsity: Wood-Hammond Cup
Emily Clonts ’12 was a key figure in Princeton’s victory in the 2011 EAWRC Championships, when the Tigers ended a six-year run by Wisconsin to win the program’s sixth title. She is now a co-captain for the Tigers, who arguably have the youngest roster of any lightweight program in the nation. She recently took time to share some of her thoughts with the Princeton University Rowing Notes.
1) How special was the moment of crossing the line first at Cooper River to win the EAWRC championship?
It was definitely one of the most exciting moments of my rowing career. We had been working up to that goal since I joined the team as a freshman so it represented years of hard work. We train year round for only a few races and when you get a big payoff like that, there’s nothing like it.
2) After how much work it took to get to that position, what do you remember most about being on the medal dock and receiving gold at EAWRCs?
Hugging my teammates, we couldn’t have gotten there without each other. Throwing our coxswain in was another highlight. I’ve always wanted to be able to stand on a championship dock and do that.
3) What made the 2011 boat so special, in your opinion?
We had a lot of belief in ourselves and I think that showed in training all year and then in racing during the spring. We always trained and raced to win, no matter what the situation or our position off the line. Our senior class also showed a lot of leadership and drive that contributed a lot to the team’s success.
4) With such a young roster this season, have you had to change your own approach and/or make sure that you are working more with your younger teammates?
As I said before, we always train to win, but with a younger group it’s also important to show patience early in the season when we are racing more experienced crews. But because we have such a young group, we have been able improve on a weekly basis, even more so than our competitors. Staying positive and applying what we’re learning, as a group, from racing will be key to our success at the end of the season.
5) What does being a captain this season mean to you, especially considering the lasting impact that this group of rowers will have over the next three years?
It’s a huge honor to be captain this season. Rowing at Princeton has been an amazing experience for me and one that I’m proud of, and I hope that as captain I can help start the freshman off on the right foot.