GoPrincetonTigers.com will provide profiles, video interviews and Q&As of each of its eight rowers headed to the London Olympics. See the schedule below:
Monday: Caroline Lind '06
Tuesday: Robin Prendes '11 l Lauren Wilkinson '11
Wednesday: Sara Hendershot '10 l Sam Loch '06
Thursday: Glenn Ochal '08 l Gevvie Stone '07
Friday: Andréanne Morin '06 l Daily Olympic Schedule
Robin Prendes '11 helped the Princeton men's lightweight crew to one of its best streaks in the history of the program, a run that included two Sprints/Ivy titles, two IRA national titles and a win at the Royal Henley Regatta. His next goal: Olympic gold.
The lightweight fours will open competition with heats on July 28 (11 am London time, 6 am EDT), and the final will be held Aug. 2 (5 am EDT).LINKS:
TWITTER l USROWING PROFILE l OLYMPIC PROFILE l 2009 NATIONAL TITLE l 2010 NATIONAL TITLE
Recently, Prendes shared some of his pre-Olympic thoughts with GoPrincetonTigers.com:
Can you talk a little about the last six months of training, and what it meant to earn a spot on the Olympic team?
The last six months of training have definitely been the most intense of my rowing career. Starting in February we moved from our home base of Oklahoma City with eight rowers to the Olympic training center in San Diego, California. There, we ventured on to three months of selection by way of seat racing, a process which involves switching guys in and out of boats in order to determine the fastest combination. Once the boat was selected in April, we were still faced with the task of qualifying for the Olympic Games. In May we raced at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland. With only two Olympic spots available from the 13 countries competing, it was a dogfight all the way until the last stroke. We were fortunate to win the race by 1/10th of a second against a hard-charging Dutch crew.
How did your four come together, and are you optimistic about what your boat can achieve in London?
Our four came together from an extensive three-month selection process from a pool of eight rowers. We are definitely optimistic about our race in London because even though we are not one of the favorites, the margins are so close in international lightweight rowing that a gain of one or two seconds can mean making the six-boat final or even the podium.
Was making the Olympic team a long time goal for you, or was it something that developed over the last couple years for you?
Throughout my rowing career I always knew that the Olympics were the pinnacle of the sport. That being said, I think making the Olympic team was not a conscious goal for me until these final two years. I would say that the realization that this was possible came in 2010 when my boat medaled at the Under-23 World Rowing Championships.
How did your time at Princeton, especially all of the championship races in 2009 and 2010, help prepare you for your international successes to follow?
The unique thing about lightweight rowing internationally is that the racing is very close. Often times a six-minute race comes down to the last five to ten strokes and the top four boats are within a second of each other. Competing in the Eastern Sprints was the best preparation I could imagine for that type of racing. Throughout my college rowing career most races were won by less than three seconds and we had respectable opponents every time we went up to the line in the spring. In a way competing for Princeton University was just as important and challenging to me as competing for the National team. Even though this may sound crazy to anyone who has not competed in the Eastern Sprints Regatta, racing there is probably just as nerve-wrecking and exciting as racing for the national team.
How much pride do you feel over the number of Princeton rowers selected to the Olympics?
Extremely proud! I look up to all of them and have reached out to the older rowers for support and guidance at one point or another. It’s great to have competed with so many rowers in college who have achieved such a high level in the sport. And its great to be able to share this experience with fellow Tigers.
What about the overall rowing program (men's and women's, heavies and lights) at Princeton helps set rowers up for successes both as undergraduates and beyond?
Princeton Crew was like a family to me at school. It was great to always have a group of guys and girls who were always available for anything from study sessions to dinners at Cloister. For success as an undergraduate it always helps to have a group of friends who can support you and give you guidance. I would imagine that those things would translate in the real world. Some of my closest friends from college were on the rowing team.