For the first time this season, each of the four major rowing national polls have been released, and each one of them has Princeton in a prominent position. Following a perfect season-opening weekend, the open women and both lightweight programs are ranked No. 1, while the men's heavyweights are fourth in their preseason poll.
The Princeton open crew is ranked first in the latest USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Coaches Poll after its sweep of both No. 5 Brown and No. 10 Michigan State last weekend. Head coach Lori Dauphiny's crew began the season at No. 2 and jumped reigning NCAA champion Virginia after the Cavaliers dropped their 1V race to No. 4 Stanford last weekend.
The men's lightweight crew, as expected, debuted at No. 1 in the national rankings after opening the season with a win over Navy. Princeton is the two-time defending EARC, Ivy League and IRA national champion, and it earned a strong weekend win over the No. 5 Midshipmen last weekend.
The women's lightweights made their first move to the top of the rankings after an amazing opening weekend in California. After a win over St. Mary's, Princeton topped 2010 EAWRC champion Wisconsin and 2010 IRA national champion Stanford by impressive margins in back-to-back efforts. Princeton earned all seven No. 1 votes and will square off with No. 6 Bucknell and No. 7 MIT this weekend.
The only crew yet to race this season is the men's heavyweights, but Greg Hughes' squad opens the 2011 season ranked fourth overall. Washington and California, coming off their memorable duel in the 2010 IRA grand final, own the top two spots, while reigning EARC champion Harvard is ranked third. Princeton nearly upset Harvard in the Eastern final last season and was ranked just above Ivy brethren Brown and Cornell.
Check back Friday on GoPrincetonTigers.com for full previews of all four crew weekends, including a video season preview of the men's heavyweights. If you missed any of the video previews of the other squads, then can still be seen on GoPrincetonTigers.com.