FAMILIAR WATERS: Nathalie Verlinde, far left, competes in the bow seat as the Princeton University lightweight women’s varsity 8 churns through the water in a race this spring. Sophomore Verlinde, a Princeton High alumni, will be looking to help the Tiger top boat repeat as national champions when it competes in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) championships from June 3-5 on Mercer Lake. During her high school career, Verlinde competed on Mercer Lake as a member of the Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) Mercer Junior rowing program. (Photo by Row2K, provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)
By Justin Feil
Nathalie Verlinde feels at home on Mercer Lake, where she will try to help the Princeton University lightweight women’s varsity 8 boat repeat as national champions June 3-5 at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) championships.
Verlinde graduated from Princeton High and started rowing for the Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) Mercer Junior rowing program. as a high school freshman. The Mercer Juniors train on Mercer Lake, and last year her high school teammates came out to see her Tigers team win the national title in a field reduced to two by the COVID-19 pandemic. Princeton won by more than 26 seconds over Wisconsin for its first national crown since 2003.
Now a sophomore, Verlinde and Princeton will face a full field as it tries to cap a perfect season. The Tiger top boat has not been beaten this season, as it won another gold at the Dad Vail Championships in Philadelphia on May 14 to follow up an important win at Eastern Sprints in Worcester, Mass., on May 1. more