Prior to the 2012 season, men’s lightweight head coach Marty Crotty talked about a different training strategy he planned to employ this season. He felt like his team hit its peak too soon the previous year, and didn’t have that final burst needed to win a national championship.
The end of the 2012 season is now upon us, and based on the results from the Eastern Sprints, it does appear that the needle is pointing up for the Tiger lightweights.
“We have gotten faster every week this season,” head coach Marty Crotty said. “The guys have stayed diligent and worked hard. We have definitely added speed since Sprints.”
After a 4-4 performance during the regular season, the men’s lightweights knocked off two teams they had previously lost to en route to picking up a third-place finish at Sprints. Top-ranked Harvard won the grand final and the Ivy League championship, though it defeated Princeton by less time than it did during the Goldthwait Cup regatta during the regular season.
Dartmouth and Princeton did not race during the regular season, but the Big Green topped the Tigers by less than one second to claim silver. The Tigers grabbed bronze at the expense of fourth-place Yale, while both Georgetown and Cornell placed fifth and sixth, respectively.
Georgetown and Cornell, by the way, had gone 3-0 against Princeton during the regular season.
Princeton gained time on every boat from the regular season to the Sprints grand final, and now it has had even three more weeks of training to prepare for the national championship race.
There is some championship experience remaining in this boat. Both Gianthomas Volpe and Alex Rubert were sophomores on the 2010 crew that topped Navy by one second for the national title. The Tigers also have a championship pedigree; they and Harvard shared the record for the most IRA championships with seven, while Yale, the defending champion, has six.
Unlike the heavyweights, who row over three days, the lightweights will compete only on Championship Saturday. The grand final is scheduled for 12:30 pm and will be the final race of the collegiate season.
And it is the time Crotty hopes will be when Princeton hits its peak speed.