It’s been a while for the fourth-ranked Princeton heavyweights, but the Tigers will get to compete on Lake Carnegie again this weekend, and they will do in a Top 10 showdown for the Carnegie Cup.
One week after a narrow loss to No. 3 Harvard for the Compton Cup, Princeton will look to get back to it winning ways against both No. 5 Yale and No. 7 Cornell Saturday morning in the 92nd Carnegie Cup regatta. While the Tigers are looking to bounce back from its lone loss of the season, they are also looking to buck a trend in this series; the last team to retain the Carnegie Cup was the 2006 Eastern champion Princeton Tigers, who won the Cup three straight years (2004-06).
Princeton proved last year that it was into breaking trends in this series. After seven straight years when the home team came away with the Carnegie Cup, the Tigers drove home from the Housatonic River with both the Cup and their series-high 37th victory.
Of course, now that they’re home, they’d like to start that trend again. At least for one year.
“Since I have been on this team, we have never had to race three consecutive weekends away from Princeton,” junior coxswain Jameson Pesce said. “I think we have taken on that challenge of racing on unfamiliar courses well, but we are certainly excited to be racing back at home again. As a team, we don’t lower our expectations just because we are racing on an unfamiliar course, but defending the home course does provide an additional level of energy and purpose that we will do our best to tap into that this weekend.”
Following last weekend’s race against Harvard, Princeton knows that it will be seeing nothing best the best boats in the nation for the rest of the season. In between Yale and Cornell in this week’s poll is No. 6 Brown, which travels to Princeton next week for the Content Cup regatta. Then it’s Sprints and IRAs, so no time to rest.
“Across the program, guys are not afraid to seek out the toughest competition,” Pesce said. “We understand that it is only through racing such crews that you can test your strengths, discover the areas you need to improve, and understand where you rank within the league. We will be challenged by both crews this weekend, but we are excited to test ourselves against such respectable competition and display the speed we know we are capable of producing.”
This weekend will also provide a good test for the maturity of the varsity boat, which nearly pulled off a comeback at Harvard before falling for the first time this season.
“I think the team has reacted very positively to this past Saturday. When you have high expectations for a season, it’s very easy to let a loss continue to hurt you by allowing frustration to prevent your efforts at improving. However, I think the guys have done a good job of understanding what we could have done better, and have used that knowledge to guide our efforts to build boat speed instead of allowing it to harm morale.”
Saturday Racing Schedule
Heavyweights vs. Cornell and Yale
9:00 AM - Fourth Varsity
9:20 AM - Third Varsity
9:40 AM - Second Varsity
10:00 AM - First Varsity - Carnegie Cup
Lightweight Women vs. Georgetown
10:20 AM - Third Varsity 4+
10:40 AM - Second Varsity
11:00 AM - First Varsity - 1999 Cup