ROWING AT PRINCETON
On the shore of Lake Carnegie, the Shea Rowing Center holds "as happy a family as there is," according to men's heavyweight crew coach Greg Hughes. That family includes the four components of Princeton's crew: the heavyweight men's crew, the lightweight men's crew, the women's open crew and the women's lightweight crew. All told, nearly 150 student athletes train at the Princeton boathouse, making the rowing program the largest varsity program at the university.
"There's a very friendly atmosphere in the boathouse; people work together," says Danika Harris '95, a world champion and member of the Tigers' 1994 and 1995 women's national championship teams. "At other schools, there are politics of various kinds. It might be animosity between the men's and women's teams or between the heavyweight and lightweight teams or competition for places in a varsity boat. Here, everyone respects one another."
Greg Hughes just completed his second year as the head coach of the men's heavyweight team after spending the previous four years leading the men's lightweight program at Princeton. Under Hughes, the heavyweight program had another successful year that concluded with a second consecutive silver medal in the V8+ at the Eastern Sprints as well as a second place finish in the Rowe Cup standings for the second year in a row. The freshman 8+ also took home their second silver medal in the past two years. The year wrapped up with the heavyweight team finishing fourth in the country at the IRA National Championships on the strength of a sixth place finish by the V8+ and fourth place finishes by the 2V8+ and freshman 8+.
Marty Crotty is in his fifth year as Head Coach of Lightweight Men, after coaching the heavyweight
Lori Dauphiny enters her 14th year as the head coach of women’s open crew with high hopes of building another NCAA championship squad. In 2006, she put together one of the greatest college crews in NCAA history with a squad that went undefeated and won the national championship by open water. She has 134 career victories, more than any Princeton rowing coach with a single program. Her first decade at the helm of the Tiger program was a rousing success. She led Princeton to an 111-8 record in her first 10 seasons, and the Tigers were riding a dual-meet streak of 36 straight wins heading into last season. The 2005-06 squad also set a program record with 14 wins before routing the field at both Eastern Sprints and the NCAA championships
Paul Rassam was named the second head coach of the women's lightweight crew in 2005. Rassam has led the varsity to silver medals at the four of the past five Eastern Sprints and a second place finish at the national championship in 2005.
The recent success of all four Princeton crews has encouraged rowing alumni and the university administration to expand the role of rowing on campus. In 2000, an $8 million renovation and expansion to the boathouse was completed and the facility now provides the almost 150 athletes with spacious locker rooms, two erg rooms, a weight room complete with professional weight-lifting equipment, seven boat bays, and a jet-propelled, sixteen-person indoor rowing tank.
Lake Carnegie, situated on the eastern edge of campus, is perhaps the best stretch of water for rowing in the country. Measuring just over three miles in length, the lake a has marked and buoyed 2000-meter course. For more about the rowing facilities go to the facilities page.
The Princeton rowing program has been built upon a tradition of success among its four teams.
Princeton women's crews have enjoyed a 20-year run since 1990 that places them among the country's elite programs. The open women's team has won twenty-nine gold medals at the Eastern Sprints and fourteen national championships. The varsity openweights won forty-five consecutive dual race victories from 1990-1995, and in 2006 went undefeated in the regular season before winning gold at the Eastern Sprints and the NCAA Championship. The Princeton women's crew is also one of only three teams in the country to have been invited to every NCAA Championship.
The women's varsity lightweights have won five out of the past eleven national championships and enjoyed an undefeated season in 2003.
Over the past fifteen years, the men's heavyweight varsity has been one of the most successful programs in the country as they have won five Eastern Sprints titles and seven all-points trophies, to go along with two IRA national championships. The team has also made two victorious trips to the Henley Royal Regatta.
The performance of the men's lightweight varsity has also been impressive as they have won eight Eastern Sprints or IRA titles in the last fourteen years.
The strength of all Princeton crew teams is perhaps best expressed by the fact that eight Princeton rowers competed in the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, seven raced in the 2004 Games in Athens, and most recently six were Olympians at the Beijing Summer Games in 2008.
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