For years, there was a red ceiling that always hung over the Tiger women’s lightweight crew in its attempt to return the EAWRC championship to Princeton.
There had been years when Princeton came close, even defeating Wisconsin during the regular season, but the Badgers had consistently found a way on Cooper River to keep the trophy just out of Princeton’s reach.
Until last year, when Princeton proved to be the East’s best team from start to finish.
Head coach Paul Rassam now enters his seventh season with a new challenge, as the vast majority of that championship crew graduated last year. He is in a rebuilding year, but he believes the team can make a big leap by the time Easterns rolls around.
Part of that leap will come from the championship members that will lead their younger teammates.
The Princeton lightweight women will enter the 2012 season with three key figures in last year’s championship boat, including senior co-captains Emily Clonts and Kathryn O’Connell. Both have significant postseason experience, as each were on the medal stand at both the 2010 and 2011 IRA national championships.
They won bronze in 2010, and last year nearly pulled off the double after winning EAWRC gold. Instead, Stanford held off a hard-charging Princeton boat to win its second straight title. After earning both bronze and silver the last two years, both Clonts and O’Connell will be looking to cap their careers with gold.
Junior Alex Morss also returns after rowing in the 7-seat for Princeton last season. The trio will need to provide strong leadership for a roster that has to be one of the youngest in the nation. The Tigers have 16 rowers from the Class of 2015 currently listed on their roster, and Rassam will undoubtedly count on several of them in key seats for either the V8 or 2V8 this year.
Princeton will make its annual trip to the west coast later this month to compete in the San Diego Crew Classic. That was a key event for the Tigers last season, as they defeated both Wisconsin and Stanford to establish themselves as the No. 1 team in the country.
Following that weekend and road trips to both Bucknell and the Knecht Cup (Cooper River), Princeton will welcome longtime rivals Georgetown and Radcliffe to Lake Carnegie for regattas on April 21 and 28.
After that, Princeton will head back to Cooper River to try defending its EAWRC crown May 13.
There is a link atop the page for the new "Information Central" page
for women's lightweight crew. It is a one-stop home for all interested in the
program, and it includes several links related to both the past and
present of Princeton lightweight rowing.
Included in the past highlights are all-time letterwinners and
results, all-time results in Princeton's annual "Cup" competitions, and
Princeton's history in the postseason, the Olympics, and the Royal
Present links include those to the roster, schedule and results, as
well as to the team site, the official men's lightweight Twitter feed, and
several other aspects of the program.
The link to the Information Central page will remain in the gray bar at the top of the women's lightweight page.