PRINCETON, N.J. — There were neither as many boats or spectators as at the Head of the Charles regatta two weeks ago, but the rowing was no less intense at Sunday's Princeton Chase on Lake Carnegie.
Men's heavyweight coaches Mike Zimmer and Jon Douglas had high hopes for success in the last major competition of the fall, but saw the Lions finish somewhat short of expectations.
One such effort was the Varsity Heavyweight Eights, in which Columbia placed fifth of 38, with a time of 13:12.496 for the 2.75-mile course. The B boat took 17th, in 13:45.002.
The A boat got off to a good start, and quickly moved into a group which included the top six boats. For a head race, it was, as Zimmer noted, "an incredibly tight pack, with little to separate each boat."
Columbia appeared to thrive in such company. Rowing well, it went into the turn second only to Syracuse, and leading the other contenders. Unfortunately, the Lions ran into difficulty.
"We started having trouble with our cadence," the coach said. "We gave up a lot of time to Princeton in the last 100 meters." The Tigers went on to victory on their home course, but the Lions slipped to fifth, ahead of Boston U., Georgetown, Penn and Dartmouth, among others, but trailing Princeton, Syracuse, Cornell and Navy.
Columbia B was plagued by steering trouble, but refused to concede. "They rowed hard," Zimmer said. "They were actually closer to our A boat than they [usually] are in practice."
The Lions' freshman eight also got off to a good start, until they, like their women's novice counterparts, ran afoul of the water-soaked fallen leaves littering the lake.
"The freshmen were having a pretty good row," Zimmer said. "They were rowing well with Navy. They were second at the split, but ran into a huge mass of leaves. We couldn't clear them from the rudder; the coxswain was having trouble steering."
The boat slipped back in the race as it wrestled with the problem, which the coach conceded "is part of rowing." Nevertheless, he said, "they fought all the way down the course, and that's good."
Columbia entered four boats in small-boat races. The most successful was the varsity single, in which sophomore Mike Donohue finished first in a time of 16:38.653. It proved the fastest in the entire singles competition. Three Lion fours were not as successful, although Zimmer was heartened by the C four, staffed by five rowing newcomers. "They pulled hard," he said. "That's what we wanted.
The Princeton Chase (2.75 mile head races)
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Lake Carnegie, Princeton, N.J.
Varsity Heavyweight Eights (38 boats)
5. Columbia A, 13:12.496
17. Columbia B, 13:45.002
Andrew Lake, cox; Mike Rawlings, stroke; Ian Winthrop, 7; Sam Collins, 6; Matt Celano, 5; Sebastian Kirwan, 4; Mike Donohue, 3; Tom Olivera, 2; Charles Wu, bow
Stone Cao, cox; Greg Hawxhurst, stroke; Noah Whitehead, 7; Max Zinner, 6; Ryan Jones, 5; Luke Schwartzel, 4; Forrest Anderson, 3; Erik Schiferle, 2; Phillip Fletcher, bow
Freshman Heavyweight Eights (33 boats)
6. Columbia, 14:07.375
Seungki Lee, cox; Connor Jones, stroke; Brent Laurint, 7; Clemens Auersperg, 6; Ben Coombs, 5; Daniel Kolbe, 4; Matt Lonski, 3; Danny Neilson, 2; John Clapp, bow
Varsity Heavyweight Fours (43 boats)
18. Columbia A, 15:25.091
21. Columbia B, 15:33.087
43. Columbia C, 18:03.595
Stone Cao, cox; Ian Winthrop, stroke; Sam Collins, 3; Matt Celano, 2; Mike Rawlings, bow
Sara Strongman, cox; Greg Hawxhurst, stroke; Sebastian Kirwan, 3; Max Zinner, 2; Noah Whitehead, bow
Mia Park, cox; Christopher Austin, stroke; Ezra Kebrab, 3; Ben Spener, 2; Jerome Genova, bow
Men's Heavyweight Singles
1. Mike Donohue, 16:38.653