In the 20th Content Cup regatta, the reigning Eastern Sprints champion Brown varsity eight earned a second straight win over Princeton. Both the Tiger 2V and 3V likely locked up the top seeds at Sprints (May 19 in Worcester, Mass.) with victories over their Brown rivals.
"It was a solid day of racing for the whole squad," Princeton head coach Greg Hughes said. "Both Brown and Princeton are two of the top ranked teams in the EARC this spring and it was good, hard racing on all levels. The 1V, 2V and 3V were all close battles and it looks like we are right in the mix heading into the Sprints."
Brown now holds a 12-8 edge in the series after posting a winning time of 5:46.3, while Princeton finished about a length back in 5:49.3. The race was a tight one throughout the first half, but Brown steadily built its advantage, and though Princeton tried a late push over the final 300 meters, it was unable to get back to even.
The matchup featured two of the top six boats in the country, and fifth-ranked Brown will likely hold its spot in the rankings with the win over No. 6 Princeton. The two would like to meet again in the grand final at the Eastern Sprints, where the 2013 Ivy League champion will be determined.
Princeton won the remaining three races, including important wins in both the second and third varsity showdowns. The Tiger 2V was ranked atop the latest EARC seedings poll, and it topped Brown by more than two seconds with a winning time of 5:53.6.
"Our execution was very good," said junior Mark Dillon. "We knew Brown would hang with us every stroke, so we knew we had to take a lead early. We had one of the best weeks of practice in my three years here, improved our start dramatically, and were extremely well prepared for this race. Beating Brown by any margin is an accomplishment, so winning by 3 seconds is especially satisfying.
"I can't remember the last time a Princeton boat went undefeated, so finishing with this win was huge for us and definitely something we had in mind all week," Dillon added. "We gained a lot of speed this past week so if we keep the focus up I think we can improve even more, something that needs to happen to accomplish our goal of winning gold."
Princeton and Brown were 1-2 in the in the third varsity poll, and the Princeton 3V won by 2.8 seconds in a time of 6:04.2.
The Princeton fourth varsity opened a full morning of racing on Lake Carnegie by topping the Brown 4V by nearly 12 seconds in a time of 6:29.7.
"I am very proud of the races that the 2V, 3V and 4V posted today," Hughes said. "They found the lead and never let go. It was a great way for those crews to finish off a solid regular season and it was a rewarding result for the seniors in their last race on Lake Carnegie."
The Princeton varsity eight concludes its season with a 7-2 record, and will likely hold the fourth seed at Eastern Sprints, though those haven't been officially determined yet. Princeton will not race next week, and then will return to the water in Lake Worcester May 19 looking for its first EARC/Ivy League championship since 2006.
"The next two weeks leading up to the Sprints will be important for our entire team," Hughes said. "Every team gains speed in the lead up to Sprints and we will need to do the same. I can't wait to get back to work on Monday."
FIRST VARSITY: CONTENT CUP
Brown 1F 5:58.1