Columbia Rowers Compete at Princeton Chase
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Queen For A Day used to be a popular television program. Head lightweight rowing coach Nich Lee Parker and his staff went well beyond that last week, when they encouraged their rowers to plan and run their entire program for the week heading into Sunday's Princeton Three-Mile Chase. The result was both enjoyable and successful for the lightweights; the Columbia women and heavyweight programs also competed in the gigantic event that, with one exception, concluded the Lions' fall rowing.
 "Each of our classes -- the seniors, juniors and sophomores -- planned their entire week," Parker explained. "They planned their practices, planned the boats which would row Sunday. They ran their own program.
"We wanted to make it enjoyable," Parker said, "so they would enjoy rowing and competing with their classmates."
It couldn't have gone much better for the lightweights. All three varsity eights finished in the top 20 of the 30-boat Lightweight Eights competition, with Columbia A, the seniors, grabbing ninth in 13:57.159 over the Lake Carnegie course. Columbia C, the sophomores, were 13th in 14:16.957, while the juniors, Columbia B, were 20th in 14:41.628.
"It went really, really well," Parker said. "We saw a lot of good attention to detail."  All three eights had to compensate for starting slowly. "The seniors did a really good job," the coach said, "and the juniors passed a number of crews."
Parker also praised the lightweight four, which finished sixth in a 28-boat field. It consisted of two junior and two sophomore rowers, with a senior at coxswain.
"They did a very good job," he said. "They were just on the cusp of the Ivy League's top teams."
The Columbia women also appeared to do well, the varsity eights finishing 15th and 37th in a 46-boat field, the varsity fours coming in 16th and 23rd in a 29-boat race, but head coach Scott Ramsey wasn't pleased.
"We always expect to be the top crew in the Ivy League, so we clearly have a lot of work to do," he said. The racing, though, had great intrinsic worth. "[The experience today] will prove invaluable come May."
The Lions' greatest need, both the coaches and athletes recognized, was fitness.
"We need work on the physical level," he said. "That will be our biggest focus for improvement over the next few months." 
"We have some really good, capable athletes. They understand there is a much larger volume of work necessary to achieve championship level fitness."
The Princeton Chase featured dozens of races. Looking at the results, it almost seems like the Columbia heavyweights entered all of them. The heavies competed in four eight-oared events, four for varsity fours, six for Men's Pairs, and three more singles races.
"Today was about gaining race experience," head coach Scott Alwin noted. "Everyone came down the course in two events, first in an eight and then in a four, pair, or single. Our team gained 'seasoning' as racers, which will be valuable come 2K racing in the spring.
"We have talked through the fall," Alwin continued, "about being patient, and working on incremental progress toward the championship races next May and June. Today was another day in our preparation process, albeit a more visible day than most."
Alwin and his staff also focused on increased fitness as an off-season goal.
"As a team we need to gain a lot of fitness," he said. "Some of our guys arrived in good condition when the school year began, but not enough  to make a serious impact on Varsity Eight speed in October. Our training plan will build fitness throughout the school year."
The fall season proved beneficial for Alwin, in his first year as the heavyweights' head coach, and his staff, in getting to know the crews, and their capabilities.
"This is a team with decent depth, but with little to differentiate  among the top 16 to 20 guys, to find the best combination of eight rowers and a coxswain. It will take some time for us as coaches, to know the guys well enough to discover the more subtle points of differentiation."
The Princeton Chase marks the final fall action for the heavyweights and lightweights. Scott Ramsey's women have one more event planned, the Rivanna Romp, hosted by the University of Virginia, one of the ranking women's rowing programs. It will be held Sunday, November 17, in Earlyville, Va. The Lions' varsity eight was second in the event last season, just behind UVA.
Columbia in the Princeton Chase:

The Princeton Chase (three-mile head races)
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Lake Carnegie, Princeton, N.J.


Varsity Eights (57 boats)
15. Columbia B, 13:53.023
28. Columbia A, 14:02.272
43. Columbia C, 14:24.924
55. Columbia D, 15:08.900

Varsity Fours (54 boats)
28. Columbia A, 15:50.753
40. Columbia B, 16:20.181
51. Columbia C, 17:21.377
53. Columbia D, 17:53.483

Men's Pairs
6. Columbia B, 16:38.15
13. Columbia A, 17:17.52
17. Columbia C, 17:38.45
20. Columbia E, 17:49.96
42. Columbia D, 19:01.59
48. Columbia F, 19:25.59

Men's Singles
3. Columbia A, 17:51.37
7. Columbia E, 18:32.71
10. Columbia D, 19:03.38


Varsity Eights (30 boats)
9. Columbia A, 13:57.159
13. Columbia C, 14:16.957
20. Columbia B, 14:41.628

Varsity Fours (28 boats)
6. Columbia A, 15:06.374


Varsity Eights (46 boats)
15. Columbia A, 15:25.796
37. Columbia B, 16:35.837

Varsity Fours (29 boats)
16. Columbia A, 17:54.001
23. Columbia B, 18:17.563

Women's Pairs
50. Columbia C, 19:50.21
52. Columbia A, 20:03.35
53. Columbia B, 20.08.68

Today's Boatings:


Varsity Eight A
Dan Hong, cox; Buck Goggin, stroke; Jonathon Rosow, 7; Emmett Gross, 6; Matt Ridgeway, 5; Matt Panton, 4; Alex Barkume, 3; Daniel Kolbe, 2; Ben Coombs, bow

Varsity Eight B
Colin Keane, cox; Sam Harris, stroke; Brent Laurint, 7; Clemens Auersperg, 6; James Glynn, 5; Josh Fram, 4; Connor Jones, 2; Killian Brackey, 2; Connor Coughlin, bow

Varsity Eight C
Oliver Jennings, cox; Elliot Meade, stroke; John Clapp, 7; Jack Michaud, 6; Andrew Bair, 5; Max Lawton, 4; Zack Ellenbogen, 3; Christian Aral, 2; Rob Cornacchia, bow

Varsity Eight D
Andrew Tang, cox; John Sluis, stroke; Max Lindemann, 7; Alastair Clements, 6; Jake Petterson, 5; Tucker Klutey, 4; Eiton Rothman, 3; Nick Woudenberg, 2; Greg Klumpp, bow

Varsity Four A
Dan Hong, cox; Buck Goggin, stroke; James Glynn, 3; Killian Brackey, 2; Connor Coughlin, bow

Varsity Four B
Colin Keane, cox; Sam Harris, stroke; Andrew Bair, 3; Daniel Kolbe, 2; John Clapp, bow

Varsity Four C
Andrew Tang, cox; Jack Michaud, stroke; Zach Ellenbogen, 3; Max Lawton, 2; Max Lindemann, bow

Varsity Four D
Debbie Levine, cox; Christian Aral, stroke; Greg Klumpp, 3; Tucker Klutey, 2; Eiton Rothman, bow

Varsity Pairs
A - Connor Jones & Clemens Auersperg. B - Josh Fram & Alex Barkume. C - Emmett Gross & Ben Coombs. D - Matt Panton & Matt Ridgeway. E - Elliot Meade & Brent Laurint. F - Rob Cornacchia & Alastair Clements.

Varsity Singles
A - Jonathon Rosow. D - Jake Petterson. E - John Sluis


Varsity Eight A (Seniors)
Erica Cunningham, cox; Anders Smedsrud, stroke; James Winford, 7; Connor Dougherty, 6; Lane Brokaw, 5; John Hold, 4; Curtis Kachline, 3; Chris Hatzis, 2; Steven Boyle, bow

Varsity Eight B (Juniors)
Julia Gron, cox; Fredrik Aasaaren, stroke; Griffin Whitlock, 7; Matt Bellesheim, 6; Brian Ptucha, 5; Max Segall, 4; Brian McGrattan, 3; Travis Simon, 2; Ben Blair, bow

Varsity Eight C (Sophomores)
Yih-Jen Ku, cox; Jakub Buczek, stroke; Colin Ross, 7; Conor Murphy, 6; Oliver Ingram, 5; Daniel Puttmann, 4; Andrew Bartholomew, 3; Matt Taylor, 2; Colm Smith, bow

Varsity Four A
Erica Cunningham, cox; Fredrik Aasaaren, stroke; Jakub Buczek, 3; Colin Ross, 2; Griffin Whitlock, bow


Varsity Eight A
Aneesha Baliga, cox; Giovanna Crozier-Fitzgerald, stroke; Lottie Galliano, 7; Maddie O'Brien, 6; Jocelyn Bohn, 5; Kellie Solowski, 4; Hilary Going, 3; Maddy Pollock, 2; Hayley Weil, bow

Varsity Eight B
Sam Caballero, cox; Maia Claman, stroke; Emerald Smith, 7; Carly Tashjian, 6; Emily Ball, 5; Maggie De Vlieger, 4; Laney McGahey, 3; Alexandra Swift, 2; Kait Loftus, bow

Varsity Four A
Aneesha Baliga, cox; Giovanna Crozier-Fitzgerald, stroke; Emerald Smith, 3; Maia Claman, 2; Emily Ball, bow

Varsity Four B
Sam Caballero, cox; Carly Tashjian, stroke; Laney McGahey, 3; Maggie De Vlieger, 2; Lily Mudge, bow

Varsity Pairs
A. Maddy Pollock & Hayley Weil; B. Alexandra Swift & Lottie Galliano;  C. Hilary Going & Kellie Solowski