RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. -- In one of the best matchups in eastern women's rowing this spring, the Columbia varsity eight, ranked 16th nationally after defeating Yale and Penn last week, played host to the third-ranked Princeton Tigers, themselves coming off impressive victories over Brown and Ohio State.
The pairing was perfect, but Princeton proved nearly perfect itself, winning all four events on the Lions' Overpeck Park course.
"Princeton deserves a lot of credit," Columbia women's head coach Scott Ramsey said. "They were better from start to finish."
The regatta began poorly for the Lions, as their second varsity eight finished third, 32 seconds off the Tigers' winning time and 13 seconds behind the Princeton 3V, rowing in the same race. The B fours event also went poorly for the Lions, whose B four trailed both Princeton's B and C fours.
"The Princeton eights were more aggressive," Ramsey noted. "We need to do better. We have to apply what we do in practice to the actual races." He paused. "There are great athletes on the second varsity eight," he said. "They're fully capable, but inexperienced. It's a matter of executing."
One of the fours, the Varsity A four, actually did quite well. Led by freshman coxswain Jill Klein, Columbia turned the race into a real battle, one which Princeton captured only in the closing strokes.
"Jill did a great job handling the crossing headwind," he said. "They rowed an aggressive race, stat to finish. It was a very strong performance."
The completely-freshman four finished second in 8:03.74, just a couple of seconds off of Princeton's 8:01.54.
The main event, the varsity eights race, was the last one of the morning. As they did against Yale and Penn, Columbia got off to a good start, but Princeton was ready for it.
In fact, the Tigers were ready for the Lions in every aspect of the race, winning in 7:08.38 to Columbia's 7:19.92.
"We rowed a good race," Ramsey said. "We had a good start, Princeton had a better one. We had a good base, Princeton's was better. We had a good sprint at the end. Princeton had a better sprint."
And Princeton didn't have to contend with the buoy marking the final 500 meters, which Columbia unfortunately steered into.
"Princeton was in control of the race at that point," Ramsey said. "It didn't decide the winner, but it did slow us down. It probably cost us two or three seconds."
"We have to get faster," Ramsey concluded, looking back on the races. "We have to get better. I'm never going to be content with second place."
The Lion women take next Saturday off, and then return to Overpeck Park Saturday, April 20, against Bucknell.
Columbia vs. Princeton
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Overpeck Park, Ridgefield Park, N.J.
1. Princeton, 7:08.38
2. Columbia, 7:19.92
Second Varsity Eights
1. Princeton 2V, 7:31.63
2. Princeton 3V, 7:40.76
3. Columbia, 7:53.99
Varsity Fours A
1. Princeton, 8:01.54
2. Columbia, 8:03.74
Second Fours B
1. Princeton B, 8:56.42
2. Princeton C, 9:11.77
3. Columbia B, 9:30.10
Aneesha Baliga, cox; Rebecca Randall, stroke; Fiona Duffy, 7; Samantha Warren, 6; Amelia Brunner, 5; Karli McMenamin, 4; Jocelyn Bohn, 3; Nikki Bourassa, 2; Lottie Galliano, bow
Second Varsity Eight
Clare Hua, cox; Jessica Werlin, stroke; Kellie Solowski, 7; Caitlin Shufelt, 6; Alexandra Delaney, 5; India Knight, 4; Hilary Going, 3; Alexandra Swift, 2; Sylvie Krekow, bow
Varsity Four, A
Jill Klein, cox; Madeline O'Brien, stroke; Elisa Mirkil, 3; Colleen Condon, 2; Hayley Weil, bow
Varsity Four, B
Audrey Warren, cox; Natalie Rutherford, stroke; Carli Tashjian, 3; Maia Claman, 2; Sara Hyten, bow