Friday, May 16, 2014
Video(s) Of The Week: Cornell Trains for Sprints; the Pac-12 Women's Coaches Sound Off
This week's first video comes to us from Big Red, who are prepping for this weekend's showdown in Worcester to determine the fastest crews in the East. Cornell enters the racing as the fifth-ranked varsity eight in a field that has seen some changes over the last 12 months, with Charley Butt taking the helm at Harvard (No. 2) following the loss of Harry Parker, and Yale making good on early-season potential to claim a No. 1 seed. The top of the field is likely to be very tightly packed, with Brown and Princeton not far off the top two crews—will we see a new heavyweight champion crowned on Lake Quinsigamond?
On the lightweight side, again there has been some reshuffling at the top end, with Cornell leading the way into Sprints, Columbia ranked second overall, and Princeton third—given the horsepower and the addition of Bill Manning to the Princeton coaching fold this season, we're expecting the Tigers to make it a very interesting race for the top of the podium. Still, Cornell is coming off a sweep of Dartmouth at the Baggaley Bowl, where both the Big Red first and second varsity eights posted times in the 5:20s for open water margins, and will be hoping to cap an outstanding regular season with their first Sprints title since 2008.
Meanwhile, on the West Coast, the Pac-12 Championships will take over Lake Natoma this weekend, pitting regional rivals against one another in what is likely to be an NCAA Grand Final preview (at least, in part). After another victory at San Diego Crew Classic and a typically strong regular season, USC enters the fray as the No. 1-ranked women's varsity eight, though they will see some very stiff competition from Nos. 2, 3, and 4 (California and Washington are loaded with talent, and Stanford just pulled off an unexpected sweep of Cal at Redwood Shores—it's going to get interesting in Sacramento, folks). On the men's side, it will no doubt be a dogfight for the varsity eight title between two of the nation's top teams, Cal and Washington, in their first rematch since Washington upset Cal by 0.56 seconds in their 103rd Dual. Look for live updates from Lake Natoma via the RR social channels, and keep and eye on the RR Twitter feed for more news and views from coast to coast.