The 2011 EAWRC Princeton women’s lightweight rowing team made its first major statement of the season in San Diego, where it knocked off both Wisconsin and Stanford to take over the No. 1 spot in the country.
The 2013 team has already made half that statement this season with its 13-second victory over Wisconsin on Lake Carnegie last weekend. It will try to complete the double this weekend, as it heads to Mission Bay for the 40th annual San Diego Crew Classic.
Princeton, which is ranked third in the first USRowing nationall poll, is scheduled to race over two days, beginning Saturday at 7:40 am pacific time in a four-boat women’s collegiate lightweight prelim. Also included in that race is a pair of Stanford boats and a Washington State entry.
From there, the top boats will reach Sunday’s final at 10:50 am.
Sophomore Rebecca Kreutter will be competing in her second San Diego Crew Classic, though she will enter this year’s regatta with a far different perspective than the one she had last year.
“The San Diego Crew Classic was my first 2k regatta,” she said. “I remember going into the race last year with one goal: don’t catch a crab. This year is a new boat, a new crew, and definitely a new goal. I’m looking forward to a grinding race against Stanford.”
The Tigers know that Stanford is the ultimate measuring stick in women’s lightweight rowing right now. The Cardinal is the three-time reigning national champion, a stretch that included a 2011 IRA grand final that was determined by the slimmest of margins between Stanford and Princeton.
“It’s hard to remember the middle parts of that race,” said senior captain Alex Morss, who was a sophomore in that EAWRC champion boat. “I’ve gone back and watched it, which probably isn’t a good idea. We were down by a pretty good amount until basically the end of the race. If we had a little further to go, I think we could have come back and won. I think we gave it everything we had. It was a really good race between both of us.”
Princeton would love another late-race showdown with Stanford at IRAs two months from now, but the Tigers are looking forward to building on their strong start to the season this weekend in San Diego, and maybe making a statement against the top-ranked boat in the nation.