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March 25, 2011

Women's Rowing Opens Spring Schedule This Weekend

Photo courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Ivy League women's rowing hits the waters this weekend with six teams in action Saturday, March 26.

Columbia and Penn actually opened the Ivy spring slate last weekend, each with strong performances. At the Governor's Cup hosted by Florida Tech, the Columbia crews won all five of their races for the second-consecutive year in a field that also included Central Oklahoma, Jacksonville and Nova Southeastern. Penn started its spring season strong with a sweep of Duke and Georgetown on the Cooper River.

Both schools are back in action this Saturday at the same regatta. Yale plays host to Columbia and Penn this Saturday for the 34th Connell Cup on the Housatonic River in Derby, Conn. The host Bulldogs look to keep its hold of the Ivy League title and its status of the collegiate rowing's fastest varsity eight despite losing six of its members to graduation from its 2010 NCAA championship boat.

Entering the weekend ranked second nationally, Princeton headlines the weekend's regattas hosting top 10 foes, No. 5 Brown and No. 8 Michigan State, on Lake Carnegie. The Tigers received the No. 2 ranking in the March 16 USRowing/CRCA Women's Collegiate Preseason Poll, behind 2010 NCAA champion Virginia, and paced the list of six Ivy crews to be ranked to start the spring season.

The No. 19 Radcliffe heavyweight crew is also in action this Saturday hosting Tulsa for three races on the Charles River in a joint regatta with Harvard's men's lightweights. Four rowers and a coxswain are back with Radcliffe after finishing 2010 as members of the heavyweight varsity eight -- Michelle Pearson, Olivia Coffey, Liz Soutter, Mary Maginnis and coxswain Jill Carlson.

Cornell and Dartmouth open their spring schedules on April 2. Cornell will be competing in for Cayuga Cup against Syracuse and host Yale while Dartmouth will be rowing against Boston College, Northeastern and Rhode Island on the Charles River.

USRowing/CRCA Women’s Collegiate Rowing Preseason Poll
First-place votes in parentheses

1. Virginia (18), 477
2. Princeton (5), 450
3. California (1), 440
4. Stanford, 404
5. Brown 396
6. Yale (1), 369
7. Washington, 316
8. Michigan State, 314
9. Southern California, 296
10. Wisconsin, 289
11. Michigan, 260
12. Washington State, 202
13. Ohio State, 193
14. UCLA, 183
15. Clemson, 150
16. Tennessee, 125
17. Dartmouth, 91
18. Cornell, 75
19. Radcliffe, 43
20. Texas, 27

Receiving Votes: Iowa 24, Oregon State 22, Penn 21, Northeastern 19, Columbia 18, Duke 13, Notre Dame 11, Minnesota 7, Louisville 4, Indiana 4, Bucknell 2, Boston University 2, San Diego 1, Buffalo 1 and Navy 1.