Heavyweight Varsity Eight, Freshman Eight Both Claim IRA Petite Final Wins
Regardless of how the semifinals went, the Princeton heavyweights came out focused and ready for the final day of the IRA national championships. The varsity eight and freshman eight both won their petite finals, while the second varsity placed third in its petite final.
The varsity eight took the hardest hit Friday, getting edged by Syracuse by a razor thin margin in its semifinal. Princeton bounced back strong, though, and won the petite final in 5:36.740, more than one second faster than Wisconsin and nearly two seconds faster than Cornell.
"A race is a race, and they weren't going to go out there and not race," said heavyweight coach Greg Hughes. "In our league, the boats are all so close that, while a slim margin may not have gone our way yesterday, it doesn't mean we don't have the pride to show some speed. They went out and went as fast as they can."
The freshman eight also bounced back from a near miss Friday and won a tight showdown with both Boston University and Navy in its petite final. The Tigers took the race in 5:45.293, a time that was less than half a second faster than both the Terriers and Midshipmen.
The second varsity took third in its petite final. Navy won in 5:36.110, while the Tigers edged Syracuse for third in 5:38.179.
While Princeton was obviously seeking grand finals for its last day of the 2012 season, Hughes knows that he has a very young program that will benefit from both the wins and losses of the past year. Ian Silveira was the only senior in the varsity eight at IRAs, while both the 2V and freshman eight were Eastern Sprints finalists.
"The guys definitely developed this year," Hughes said. "I think they learned some important lessons along the way. They also saw that there is another level of speed that they want to try and achieve. Those guys are lucky to get the chance to do that.
"That's the big thing about coming to this event," Hughes added. "Yes, you want as many boats behind you as you can. But when you don't win it, you see what the standard is. To be here, and to see the people that you want to be next to next year, I think that is really important. Where is the level? Now they know, and they see how much hard work they need to do to get into that mix."
Varsity Eight • Petite Final
1 – Princeton 5:36.740
2 – Wisconsin 5:37.917
3 – Cornell 5:38.738
4 – Navy 5:38.745
5 – Pennsylvania 5:40.445
6 – Yale 5:41.213
Second Varsity Eight • Petite Final
1 – Navy 5:36.110
2 – Cornell 5:36.567
3 – Princeton 5:38.179
4 – Syracuse 5:38.927
5 – BU 5:47.147
6 – Pennsylvania 5:55.523
Freshman Eight • Petite Final
1 – Princeton 5:45.293
2 – BU 5:45.684
3 – Navy 5:45.781
4 – Yale 5:50.161
5 – Wisconsin 5:51.341
6 – Dartmouth 5:55.277