With Strong Senior Class Setting Positive Tone, Princeton Women’s Open Crew Produces 7-0 Start
OPEN FOR BUSINESS: The Princeton University women’s open crew varsity eight churns through the water in a regatta this spring. Last Sunday, the top boat excelled at the Ivy League Invitational on Lake Carnegie, moving to 7-0 on the season and retained both the Class of 1984 Plaque and the 1975 Cup against a quartet of Ivy League opponents. The fifth-ranked Tigers are next in action when host Yale and Texas in the race for the Eisenberg Cup. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)
By Bill Alden
As Lori Dauphiny assesses her Princeton University women’s open crew team this spring, she believes the program’s Class of 2019 is poised to go out in a blaze of glory.
With stars Claire Collins and Emily Kallfelz setting the tone, the team’s senior group brings a lot to the table.
“It is a very strong senior class. Claire and Emily are our co-captains; they also went to U23 and have done well,” said Dauphiny.
“Others around that class are also strong kids and leaders in their own right. I love every class, but this class definitely has many attributes. They are talented, they are achievers, they are strong, they are academically savvy so they have it all going on.”
Dauphiny hopes that class strongly influences the program’s freshman group.
“I think it is very fortunate that this freshman class gets to be a part of the team with this senior class,” said Dauphiny. “I always tell the freshman class, you have more opportunities but for the senior class, this is theirs.”
The varsity eight seized opportunity in the opening regatta of the season on March 30 as it defeated Brown and Ohio State to retain the Class of 1987 Trophy. Princeton’s top boat covered the 2,000-meter course in a time of 6:15.8 with Brown coming in second at 6:19.3 and Ohio State taking third in 6:19.5.
“It was a very tight and competitive race,” recalled Dauphiny. “Brown was tough, they never go away. Ohio State has won numerous races and championships now; they were missing one or two of their international rowers. We will see Ohio down the road and they will be faster.”
The Tigers had some great competition last Sunday as they hosted the Ivy League Invitational on Lake Carnegie.
“It is really cool, the only other time that happened is our Ivy championship,” said Dauphiny. “There were over 350 women competing. All of the races went off without a hitch. It was just a fun and exciting event. It highlighted our league.”
Two wins from Princeton’s top boat were among highlights of a long day for the Tigers. In the morning session, Princeton retained the Class of 1984 Plaque by defeating Harvard-Radcliffe, Penn and Dartmouth. Later, the Tigers earned the Class of 1975 Cup, besting Harvard and Cornell.
“The 1V are consistent; their first race was good and Harvard-Radcliffe is fast,” said Dauphiny of her top boat which is now 7-0 on the season and ranked fifth nationally. “It wasn’t their best either so they stepped aside and said we can do better as well.”
The second varsity eight made big strides, placing second to Harvard-Radcliffe in the morning and then edging the Crimson in their second meeting of the competition.
“The 2V turned around from first race to second race; it was an internal change in that boat that was helpful,” said Dauphiny, whose boats went 21-1 on the day.
“It was a bit of a wakeup call for them. In the morning, they had a rough race, so it wasn’t only the changes that were made between the first and second race, but it was also they came in and said we can do better than that. We have done better than that in past races and they really turned it around.”
Dauphiny knows her boats have to keep getting better as they face some formidable foes down the stretch of the regular season.
“We have some big races coming up,” said Dauphiny, whose team hosts Yale and Texas on April 13 in the competition for the Eisenberg Cup with Wisconsin, Rutgers, Columbia, and Syracuse on the horizon in upcoming regattas.
“It is good that we are going to see different competition but also that we are going to see some of the best competition within our own league and outside of the league. We need to race more. We need consistent training so we stay healthy and we need some resilience.”