A tough day for the Princeton heavyweights Friday left each of its top three boats in their respective petite finals Saturday.
The first varsity missed its championship final by the slimmest of margins after a furious sprint with Syracuse. Both Eastern Sprint champion Brown and silver medalist Harvard comfortably qualified for the finals, leaving two boats in orange battling for one final spot.
At various points, it looked like both boats held a slim lead in the final 300 meters, but the last push belonged to Syracuse. The Orangemen qualified in 6:24.911, just ahead of Princeton’s fourth-place time of 6:25.545.
Princeton will race in the petite final Saturday at 11:30 am.
The second varsity eight wasn’t able to mount a charge on a qualifying spot during its semifinal. Top-seeded Washington took the race by a comfortable margin over Harvard, while the Crimson was never seriously challenged for second place.
That left four boats vying for third. Navy got out the fastest and forced other boats to stay in the mix, and nobody did that better than Stanford. The Cardinal made about the ground and qualified by more than one second, but Princeton was never able to get into that mix throughout the last 500. The Tigers finished more than 13 seconds off the qualifying time of Stanford and will move to the petite final.
The freshman eight had to come back off two races on Thursday, but it showed some tenacity is the second semifinal heat. California left the field within 500 meters, while Brown seemed solidly in control of second for much of the race.
That left Cornell holding the crucial third position at the 1000-meter mark, while Princeton first needed to get past Yale before it could mount a charge on the Big Red. The Tigers made that move by the middle point of the race, then made a huge push that grabbed Princeton a slim lead over the Big Red with about 500 meters remaining.
At that point, the extra race Thursday and the push just to get in front of Cornell may have left Princeton without that one last sprint it would need. The Big Red bounced back in the final 500 to gain several seats on the Princeton boat by the finish line. Cornell was the final championship qualifier in 6:23.108, while Princeton took fourth in 6:25.936.
Both the Tiger 2V and the F8 will race in their respective petite finals Saturday. The F8 petite final is at 9:45 am, while the 2V petite final is at 10:30 am.
Varsity Eight • Semifinal 1
1 – Brown 6:17.211
2 – Harvard 6:22.500
3 – Syracuse 6:24.911
4 – Princeton 6:25.545
5 – Cornell 6:32.408
6 – Pennsylvania 6:40.134
Second Varsity Eight • Semifinal 1
1 – Washington 6:12.548
2 – Harvard 6:17.159
3 – Stanford 6:23.546
4 – Navy 6:24.951
5 – Princeton 6:37.082
6 – Syracuse 6:39.601
Freshman Eight • Semifinal 2
1 – California 6:10.814
2 – Brown 6:20.831
3 – Cornell 6:23.108
4 – Princeton 6:25.936
5 – Yale 6:28.428
6 – Dartmouth 6:31.083