The reigning NCAA champion Princeton varsity eight tested itself against two Top-10 opponents Saturday morning in its 2012 season opener, and it came away with a solid set of results. Despite losing to ninth-ranked Michigan, the third-ranked Tigers retained the Class of 1987 Trophy with a victory over No. 4 Brown.
While the loss to Michigan ends Princeton's 27-race win streak, the victory over Brown is a positive sign for a Tiger squad that will be looking to defend its Ivy League title in the middle of May. Of course, with seven weeks still to go before the inaugural Ivy League Championship regatta, both teams will make significant strides before they meet again.
Michigan won the varsity eight competition by more than five seconds over host Princeton, which finished the Bud Smith Race Course on Lake Carnegie in 6:39.5. That was six seconds faster than Brown, which rounded out the field in 6:45.5. Princeton now holds a 17-9 edge in the Class of 1987 Trophy competition, and it has won five straight.
Princeton topped Brown in each of the four races they competed in, though Michigan picked up victories overall in both of the top eights. The Michigan second varsity finished in 6:43.9, while Princeton took second in 6:46.4. Brown finished in 6:51.0.
The Tiger varsity four, one of four boats that won EAWRC titles last spring, started its 2011 season with a win over both Brown and Michigan. Princeton took the race in 7:35.0, while Brown placed second in 7:46.6. Michigan finished third in 7:51. The Princeton third varsity eight also claimed a win in 7:08.1, while Brown took second in 7:16.8.
Princeton will have two weeks before it returns to competition April 7 on Lake Carnegie against a trio of Ivy rivals. The Tigers will race Harvard, Cornell and Columbia in The Class Of 1975 Cup regatta.
Second Varsity Eight
Third Varsity Eight
Michigan (novice) 7:19.6
Second Varsity Four