The Princeton men's lightweight senior class couldn't have scripted its final row on Lake Carnegie any better. The Tigers bounced back after a tough Goldthwait Cup weekend and defeated the third-ranked Columbia men's lightweights to head into the May 19 Eastern Sprints with real momentum.
The varsity eight won its showdown in 6:00.1, while No. 3 Columbia finished in 6:02.8. Delaware, which is on the brink of a Top 10 spot, took third in 6:07.6.
"Any win after a loss is very important," head coach Marty Crotty said. "This validates some of the strides we've been making the last three weeks. I think today's race and the results around the league this year show that Sprints is going to be the typical lightweight melee."
Princeton also got a victory of more than four seconds in the second varsity. The Tigers won that race in 6:07.9, while Columbia finished second in 6:12.3.
While the top two varsity boats grabbed momentum for its postseason, the same can be said for the lightweight freshman eight. The Tigers defeated an impressive Delaware boat, which already has a win over EARC top seed Penn, by 2.6 seconds in a time of 6:19.9.
"The freshman race was awesome," Crotty said. "It's so rare for two freshman eights to be deadlocked for 1500 meters and that's two weeks in a row that our guys found themselves in that situation. This time they were able to get their bow ahead of a crew that has dominated their competition all year long. It's a big win heading into Sprints."
Princeton will be off next week, but all eyes are on Worcester, Mass., and the 2013 EARC Championships, where the Tigers will be looking to knock off top-ranked and defending champion Harvard.
And while the biggest prize still remains, three classes of lightweight rowers were thrilled to send the Class of 2013 off with a special Senior Day on Lake Carnegie.
"For our seniors this was an important day," Crotty said. "The team rallied around Gordon Eccles, Taylor Freeman, Tom Owlett, Tyler Nase, Jacques Singer and Nate Jaffe and gave them their best effort today.
"Singer stepped up big filling in for a key guy in the 2V and they didn't miss a beat and continued the good season they've been having," Crotty added. "Jacques has been through a ton with injuries over the years but has never quit and brings a vital spirit and drive to our team that everyone really thrives on. I like the way they are moving going up to Worcester."
Second Varsity Eight
Columbia 4V 7:29.4
Third Varsity/Second Freshman Eight
Columbia 3V 6:22.6
Princeton 3V 6:28.5
Delaware 2F 6:39.0