Lightweight 8+ Returns To IRA Medal Dock; Tigers Go 8-For-8 In Postseason
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Eight postseason races, eight medals.
Princeton lightweight head coach Marty Crotty raved about his team's depth during the preseason, and he was proven prophetic in the postseason. After going 5-for-5 at the Eastern Sprints three weeks ago, the Tigers won medals in all three IRA Championship races Sunday, including a bronze medal in the varsity eight final.
"I feel satisfied, I feel glad for a couple of the seniors to get a medal here," Crotty said after his varsity earned its first IRA medal since winning the 2010 national title. "It's baby steps, but it feels good to leave with something. For the last couple months, the boats have been going really well. Practices have been going well, and I'm glad it was able to translate into something tangible."
The third-seeded varsity eight continued its push forward — sixth in 2013, fifth in 2014, fourth in 2015 — by breaking away from the trailing trio midway through the race and never letting any of the three get back into Princeton's boat.
Ultimately, the Tigers looked to get into the showdown for gold, but Columbia proved too strong to let that happen. The Lions used a blazing start to get away from top-seeded and previously unbeaten Yale, and they never let the Bulldogs draw close over the final 1000. The Lions won in 5:52.06, more than two seconds ahead of Yale, while Princeton took third in 5:58.59, about two seconds ahead of Penn.
"It feels great to leave with a medal," senior Christian Wawrzonek said. "I've been coming here for three years now, and obviously it would be better to leave with a gold, but a bronze is something special. I'm not disappointed with this result.
"I feel great about the future of this program," Wawrzonek, the lone senior in the eight, said. "The guys have some real amazing talent. I'm more confident now in this team than I've ever been."
Princeton also sent out a pair of fours, and both earned medals. The four with coxswain held off Yale by 1.3 seconds to earn bronze, while the four without coxswain beat Harvard by just over one second for silver.
Those two medals capped a postseason where every rower left with something around their necks, the reward for a squad that never lacked motivation or positive energy.
"Young or old, experienced or inexperienced, the most exciting thing is just the attitude," Crotty said. "We've always had a good work ethic on the lightweight team, but the general attitude and being excited to row every day, it's easy to coach these guys. It's been a pleasure, and I'm excited to move forward with this group."
FOUR WITH COXSWAIN
FOUR WITHOUT COXSWAIN
c- Trip Henningson
8- Danny Hogan
7- James Sincavage
6- Cameron Kerr
5- Jordi Cabanas
4- James Goble
3- Christian Wawrzonek
2- Will Van Cleve
1- Henry Ogilby
c- Ashlyn Lackey
4- James Agolia
3- Ryan Pristo
2- Tyler Valicenti
1- Christopher King
4- John Killeen
3- Oscar Holmes
2- Blake Lange
1- Ricky Swanton