If recent history repeats itself, you can expect the Platt Cup to remain up for grabs for about 1950 of the 2000 meters on the Cayuga Inlet this weekend.
It was only one year ago when Princeton and Cornell both shared the No. 4 spot in the national rankings. The Tigers, winners of four straight Platt Cups, hosted Cornell in a showdown that was decided by less than half a second.
Princeton doesn’t care about the final margin this weekend, but it would love to make sure it brings the Platt Cup back home in this historic 50th showdown in this series. Cornell, ranked third nationally, reclaimed the Cup last year by defeating Princeton by .3 of a second on Lake Carnegie. The Big Red took three of the four races during the morning, with the Princeton freshman eight being the lone Tiger victor.
Princeton is one spot behind Cornell in the national rankings, but the Tigers are unbeaten on the season. They were off last weekend, but they are building off an impressive performance against Georgetown, when they reclaimed the Fosburgh Cup by more than seven seconds.
“The guys are excited to have those wins under their belts,” head coach Marty Crotty said during this week’s edition of TigerCast. “Navy and Georgetown have certainly given us fits over the years, so we don’t take them for granted.”
Those wins are especially sweet for a young roster that is still in the earliest stages of varsity experience. There are six underclassmen in the varsity eight and a host of sophomores in the second varsity, and both boats have opened their seasons with a pair of comfortable wins.
“Any win gives them another week to build confidence and get comfortable in their boats, and in their own skin,” Crotty said. “They are going to get ready for the stiffer competition coming down the road.”
That competition includes Saturday’s trip to Cornell, which is 1-1 on the season. That loss came by less than three seconds to Harvard, the reigning national champion.
Racing will begin at 8:30 am with the freshman eight, and the varsity eight will compete at 9. The lightweights will be joined by the open women, who will compete with Harvard and Cornell for the Class of 1975 Cup. Both teams will alternate races in the morning.