When Paul Rassam and his Princeton women’s lightweight crew made the trip down to Cooper River last spring for the 2011 EAWRC Championships, they came with a far different mindset. They were the best team, and the time had come to regain the Eastern championship.
While that still remains the goal for Princeton, which will compete Sunday at 12:10 pm in a seven-boat final, Rassam knows that this is a far less experienced bunch. Ultimately, no matter the result, simply being in this race will pay big dividends for this program down the line.
Eighteen members of the roster are freshmen, while only six are upperclassmen (including senior co-captains Emily Clonts and Kathryn O’Connell). Princeton has faced the best teams in the country, and while it has shown improvement over the year, it has yet to score a victory over any team ranked in the Top 4 (Stanford, Wisconsin, Bucknell and Radcliffe).
Of course, there would be no better time to pull off its best race of the year. Rassam has focused his attention on getting the Tigers prepared for the EAWRC Championships, which Princeton has won six times, including last season. The Tigers topped Wisconsin by more than three seconds to win gold for the first time since 2003.
Princeton will row in lane 5 at 12:10; the Tiger novice eight is in a four-boat final at 12:35 and will race from lane 2.