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Princeton will enter Eastern Sprints as the third seed Sunday.
Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer

Men's Lights Focused On Themselves, Ready For Eastern Sprints Charge

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 05/13/2016
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(Racing schedule and lane assignments can be found at the bottom of this release.)

Men’s lightweight head coach Marty Crotty knows all the major players for this weekend’s Eastern Sprints championship. He knows how formidable the mix of contenders will be, a field led by unbeaten Yale.

He just doesn’t terribly care about them right now.

Crotty has seen the progression he hoped for from his lightweight boats, and he is excited to see what they can do Sunday on Lake Quinsigamond when Princeton competes for the 2016 Eastern Sprints title.

“If you’re fighting the boat a little bit, it’s hard to give it 100 percent,” Crotty said. “It really feels unified and clicking, and I think the guys are eager and hungry to give it 100 percent. It’s a state they haven’t been in a while. The guys are excited to give it 100 percent individually and as a boat. That’s exciting. We will fulfill our race plan, and we will make this boat go as fast as physically possible.”

The lightweight varsity eight (8-2, 5-2 Ivy) will enter Sprints this weekend as the No. 3 seed, trailing only Yale and Columbia, and will race in a challenging 10 am heat against Columbia, Navy, Harvard, and MIT. The top three will advance to the 4:45 final, where a handful of strong boats will look to end Cornell’s two-year Sprints reign.

Princeton turned heads in the lightweight field when it ended the Big Red’s 18-race win streak by more than four seconds to win its first Platt Cup since 2011. The Tigers used a blazing start to take control of that race, and hoped the same formula would work two weeks ago when they faced unbeaten Yale for the Goldthwait Cup in the regular season finale. Princeton came out hard again, but Crotty doesn’t think that particular boat was mentally ready to complete the job.

“A lot of it is just having the confidence that you can go off the line that quickly and sustain it,” he said “We were trying to match Yale’s speed off the line, go tit-for-tat in the second 500, and put a lot in second 1000. There was just a touch of open water, which is not insurmountable, but pretty dominant there.

“To have the confidence to go that fast and stay aggressive, and know that you won’t go belly up, is critical,” he added. “You need the confidence to stay on the squeeze and sustain it for the whole race without the worry of imploding.”

The response from his team has been encouraging. Instead of fearing that they simply weren’t fast enough to make up the ground in two weeks, they concentrated on their own boat, their own speed. Yale showed everything Princeton expected — Crotty used Dennis Green’s ‘they are who we thought they were’ line — and the Tigers are ready to show something special of their own now.

“The most important thing is that I feel great about the guys I’ve been coaching, how we feel and how the boat looks,” Crotty said. “The way all our boats are going is a lot different. The speed is easier, and guys are working well together. The general mood is confident. Guys are anticipating going out and racing well.”

The second varsity also went 8-2, 5-2 in the Ivy, and will compete in the 11 am heat against Yale, Navy, Penn and MIT. Yale won the 2V by just under two seconds last week, while top-seeded Cornell won by less than four seconds three weeks ago.

The 3V completed an impressive 10-0 season with a win of nearly five seconds over Yale, and it will race in the 8:20 heat against Navy, Harvard, Georgetown and Dartmouth.

The 4V, 5V and 6V will all race in a grand final only.

Lightweight Men
1V • Heat #2 at 10:00 am (3 to final) • Grand Final at 4:45 pm
Heat (Lanes 1-5): Columbia, Princeton, Navy, Harvard, MIT

2V • Heat #2 at 11:00 am (3 to final) • Grand Final at 3:30 pm
Heat (Lanes 1-5): Yale, Princeton, Navy, Penn, MIT

3V • Heat #1 at 8:20 am (3 to final) • Grand Final at 2:15 pm
Heat (Lanes 1-5): Princeton, Navy, Harvard, Georgetown, Dartmouth

4V • Grand Final at 1:24 pm
Heat (Lanes 1-5): Cornell, Princeton, Navy, Yale, Harvard, Penn

5V • Grand Final at 1:00 pm
Heat (Lanes 1-5): Cornell, Harvard, Navy, Princeton, Princeton 6V

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