The Princeton women's lightweight rowing team returned to the medal stand at the EAWRC Championships Sunday afternoon at Cooper River. The Tigers placed second to Harvard in the varsity eight, while the fours placed third to earn bronze.
Princeton, the 2011 Sprints champion, went through a major rebuilding season last year, but head coach Paul Rassam was pleased with the overall work the team put in and believed it would pay dividends in 2013. On Sunday, those thoughts were proven correct.
"These were hard fought races, hard won medals and the culmination of an impressive couple of weeks from our entire squad," Rassam said. "The athletes weathered a fair amount of adversity and demonstrated plenty of character. Our team still isn't at full strength personnel wise and yet we are right near the top. I couldn't be prouder."
Radcliffe, the top-ranked team in the nation, won the gold in 7:17.8, while Princeton pushed past both Georgetown and reigning champion Wisconsin — and through a firm cross headwind — for silver in a time of 7:26.0. That topped Georgetown by more than three seconds.
"We closed the gap on Radcliffe and gave them a much better race than we did a few weeks ago," Rassam said, referring to the Collegiate Invitational on the Charles River two weeks ago. "We plan on taking another step that direction at the IRAs."
Princeton also picked up a bronze medal in the fours, as the Tiger A boat finished just behind Radcliffe and Wisconsin in a time of 8:49. The Tigers had a second boat in the final, and they finished fifth overall in 9:10.
"Both of our fours raced really well," assistant coach Hank Zimmerman said. "We had a strong start which put us into a position to compete for medals. We couldn't quite hold Wisconsin off in the second half but we will continue to push for more speed heading towards IRAs."
GRAND FINAL • VARSITY EIGHT
1) Radcliffe 7:17.8
2) Princeton 7:26.0
3) Georgetown 7:29.1
4) Wisconsin 7:31.5
5) Boston University 7:46.5
6) Buffalo 8:27.3
PRINCETON'S EAWRC LINEUPS
VARSITY EIGHT: Christina Kaelin, Alex Morss, Rebecca Kreutter, Caroline Cochran, Julia Wendt, Elizabeth Lawless, Emily Wiebe, Margrett Stroebel, Phoebe Huang
VARSITY FOUR A: Jamie Simpson, Madigan Stanley, Arianne Carpio, Gabriella Pezzini, Emily Hill
VARSITY FOUR B: Hannah Ho, Alexa Powers, Whitney Charbonneau, Helen Stillwell, Joelle Deleveaux