The Princeton open crew, which vaulted past Virginia and into the No. 1 ranking this week, will compete in its first of four consecutive road regattas this Saturday when it heads to the Raritan River to take on both Rutgers and Navy.
Two weeks into the season seems a bit early for Senior Day, but the Class of 2011 will compete for the final time on Lake Carnegie Saturday morning when the top-ranked Princeton men's lightweight crew takes on both Columbia and Georgetown for the Fosburgh Cup.
Head coach Paul Rassam certainly couldn't have asked for a better week to begin his sixth season at Princeton. His lightweight women headed to California and knocked off reigning EAWRC champion Wisconsin and IRA national champion Stanford in less than 24 hours. Days later, his team was unanimously ranked No. 1 in the first USRowing national poll.
For the first time this season, each of the four major rowing national polls have been released, and each one of them has Princeton in a prominent position. Following a perfect season-opening weekend, the open women and both lightweight programs are ranked No. 1, while the men's heavyweights are fourth in their preseason poll.
Megan Bradley and Marty Crotty, a pair of second-year coaches looking to repeat championship seasons, join the latest edition of TigerCast.
The first weekend of the 2011 Princeton women's lightweight season turned out to be a special one for the Tigers. Head coach Paul Rassam's crew won three first varsity races at the PAC-10 Women's Challenge, including one over reigning EAWRC champion Wisconsin and the final one over reigning IRA national champion Stanford.
The second-ranked Princeton open crew will spend its next month on the road, so it had one chance to give its home fans a lasting, positive memory. The Tigers did so in impressive fashion, winning the three top races against No. 5 Brown and No. 8 Michigan State and retaining The Class of 1987 Trophy with a hard-fought 2.5-second win over the Bears.
The two-time defending EARC and IRA national champion Princeton men's lightweight crew picked up where it left off both last spring and following the fall racing season. The Tigers retained the Joe Murtaugh Cup and won four of five races overall during the season-opening regatta against Navy and MIT Saturday morning on Lake Carnegie.
The Princeton women's lightweight crew cleared a big hurdle during the last postseason. After a stretch of earning a medal at one event and not the other, Princeton was on the podium for both the 2010 EAWRC Championships and the IRA national championships. The Tigers hope to use that foundation of success and build towards a golden end this season.
On the foundation of two straight Ivy League and IRA national titles and its stirring, record-setting performance at the 2010 Head of the Charles, the Princeton men's lightweight crew has only goal as it opens its 2011 season this weekend — keep getting better.