While talking for a preview video prior to the season, seniors Gordon Eccles and Tyler Nase both talked about what the team could learn from its disappointing finish at the 2012 IRA Championships.
Now they get a chance to author a much happier final chapter to their collegiate careers, as the lightweights will join seven other top boats on Lake Natoma Sunday for a two-race, winner-take-all national championship showdown.
Princeton never quite got itself into championship contention two weeks ago at Eastern Sprints and ended up getting edged in the final strokes before placing fifth. With three freshmen in that boat — as well as three sophomores making their varsity six-boat debut — Princeton gained plenty of experience that it can take to California this weekend.
“It’s a bit overwhelming as a freshman coming in and racing all of these other schools, and I will take this year’s result as a learning experience for next year,” freshman Cameron Howie said after the Eastern Sprints. “Until then, we will be training hard and working on everything we can in order to be on the podium in Sacramento.”
Step one will be making it out of the first heat on Championship Sunday, as Princeton will come out of Lane 2 in the 8 am (Pacific) heat. The Tigers will be right next to reigning champion Harvard (Lane 3), while Columbia (4) and Georgetown (5) will also be in the field. The top three will advance to the grand final, scheduled for 12:45 pm.
Princeton will also race a four, which opens its day with an 8:30 heat, and it will send four freshmen into the heavyweight freshman eight competition, which begins with a Friday morning heat.