The Princeton open rowing team had a long road trip planned for this weekend. Now, due to the unsure conditions of the Connecticut River, the path to the Class of 1984 Plaque will consist of the few steps from the Shea Rowing Center to the dock at Lake Carnegie.
The final Ivy League regatta of the Princeton season, originally scheduled for Saturday in Hanover, N.H., will now be held Sunday morning at Lake Carnegie. The sixth-ranked Tigers will host a pair of unranked teams in Dartmouth and Penn.
Unlike the other Cup competitions during the season, the format for the Class of 1984 Plaque is similar to the NCAA Championships. Instead of the V8 race solely deciding the Plaque winner, the cumulative score of the V8, 2V and V4 races will determine the winner.
“Across the board, from the 1V to the C4 we have made great improvements so far this year,” sophomore Erin Reelick said. “The four last weekend had a great race that I think marked a turnaround for them. It’s exciting to see improvement and hard work really paying off.
"It’s also going to be cool to compete in a race with NCAA formatted team scoring,” Reelick added, “as it serves as a reminder to everyone that this sport really is about the whole team and the success of every boat and every individual.”
The varsity four made a strong push at Yale last weekend, rallying from open water down to nearly pull past the Bulldogs, though they fell by about one second. The 2V can clinch back-to-back undefeated Ivy League seasons with a victory Saturday, and it is coming off a win of more than eight seconds over Yale.
As for the varsity eight, which will conclude its regular season next Saturday against Clemson, the Tigers have put together a four-race win streak that has kept them in the Top 10 all year.
“The boat has definitely been making a lot of progress, and I think the more racing we do the more we learn and improve as a team,” junior Faith Richardson said. “Yale was a fast boat and it was a challenging race but it was great to be tested and fight back together as a boat.”
With the Ivy League Championships less than a month away, Prince-ton knows that it needs to start maximizing the speed of its top boat if it hopes to win its third title in four years. Between the Class of 1975 Cup win over Cornell and Harvard and last weekend’s win over Yale, seven rowers kept their same seats, and the chemistry showed against the Bulldogs. But they also know that head coach Lori Dauphiny isn’t afraid to make a move if she feels it will help add speed.
“There are never any guarantees and everyone has to earn their seat every practice, so I think tinkering is always on the cards,” Richardson said. “I do think that having Kelsey Reelick in stroke has been a game changer for our boat, she is an unbelievable athlete and a fearless stroke. I have absolutely loved racing with her this season and honestly think her leadership in the boat has been critical to the progress we have made so far this season.”
Reelick is the lone returner from the 2011 Ivy League and NCAA championship boat, as well as a member of last year’s Ivy League championship boat. She rowed with her sister Erin, then a freshman, to a silver medal at the NCAA Championships last year, and both would love one final championship run together before Kelsey graduates.
The process towards the Ivy Championship continues, but Erin likes the direction so far.
“As a boat we have been working on matching up technically, and coming together mentally,” she said. “Last weekend’s race was a good step forward because I felt we were able to execute both these components fairly well. We all came together and were able to stay really gritty throughout the entire race.”
Princeton Open Women vs. Dartmouth & Pennsylvania - Class of 1994 Plaque
8:30 AM - Coxswain Meeting
9:30 AM - Varsity A 4+
9:50 AM - First Varsity -
10:10 AM - Second Varsity
10:30 AM - Third Varsity
10:50 AM - Varsity B 4+
11:10 AM - Varsity C 4+