Past Seasons‎ > ‎3‎ > ‎2007-2008 Season‎ > ‎

2008 Sprints Recap

May 21, 2008


Last weekend was a big one for the crews in green—all three programs competed at the Eastern Sprints.  

Before we recap the racing, HUGE thanks go to all of the parents, alumni, and friends who kept the Dartmouth tents so well stocked with food, drink, and encouragement at both regattas. Thank you from the entire boathouse! 

The HEAVYWEIGHT Sprints recap from Head Coach Topher Bordeau:

“Sunday was another positive step, highlighted by the varsity’s wire-to-wire commanding victory in the third final. The freshmen produced another strong performance, and the second varsity reversed early-season results and beat a few new crews. All three boats outraced their seeds (17th, 16th, and 11th) to finish 13th in the varsity, 14th in the second varsity, and 10th in the frosh. 

“The result moved us into the top 20 in the USRowing National Coaches Poll for the first time since 2005. We’ve talked a lot as a program about how good things happen to those who work hard. Sunday was proof of that. We’re after better things, so we’ll work harder going into the IRA.”  

Race recap from Captain Jamie Tansey ’08:

“Our goal in the heats was to qualify for the petite final, which meant beating two crews, likely MIT and Georgetown. We had a very good start in the heat, but so did the field. We were actually in first for a few strokes, but it was tight between all 6 boats. Wisconsin, Northeastern, and Navy moved out to leads in the second five hundred, but we were right with Georgetown and MIT heading into our move. Our move was aggressive in both pieces on Sunday, and in the heat we took a few seats on Georgetown and a length on MIT. We were in fourth through the thousand, but then Georgetown moved out to a 5-seat lead. Our third five hundred, usually a weaker part of our race, was solid, but we weren't able to gain on Georgetown, and the margin held until the finish. Although we were disappointed, we rowed a very good race and were confident about our final. 

“Our start in the final was actually pretty unstable, but we took a half length lead by the time we shifted to our base, so I think the crew recognized that we could dictate the race. We continued to inch out over the second five hundred, and when the move came we knew we could put the race away. We did, moving out to open water on the field. The effectiveness of our move gave the crew a second wind, and we had our best third five hundred of the season, maintaining our lead. It was the first time all season that we were able to hold our speed at base in the third five hundred, and that gave us room to shift up in the sprint. Our sprint was solid as well, and we came across the line with about a length on the rest of the crews.” 

PackNetwork, a streaming video company, covered the Cprints for the first time this year. Check out video of the varsity heavyweight crew’s final here: 

The WOMEN’S Sprints Recap from Head Coach Wendy Levash 

“We experienced every emotion possible this weekend at the EAWRC Sprints.  We were satisfied with the morning and hopeful for the afternoon when the 2V, 1N, 3V A and B, and 2N all qualified for the Grand Finals.  But we were absolutely devastated when BU edged out the 1V by two tenths of a second in their heat, sending them to the Petite Final.  The battle for a pass to the final came down to the last 5 strokes, and after leading BU by 5 seats for the entire race, our crew came up on the short end of a photo finish.  What can you say when an entire year's work culminates in missing the final by two tenths of a second?  The women were crushed, but they knew they had to rally and race hard in the Petite.   

“The afternoon proved redeeming.  Recovering from the morning's devastation was not easy,  but the 1V regrouped quickly and showed up ready to attack.  They walked through Northeastern and held off Bucknell to win the Petite by .1 seconds. I was proud of their maturity and resiliency.    

“The 2v turned in the performance of the day:  they walked through Yale in the last 15 strokes to claim the silver medal!  We overwhelmed the crowd, cheering our lungs out as our crew took the medals podium.  Dartmouth's combined finishes earned us fourth place in the overall team standings – our highest rank in recent history, and just above #5 Princeton.  We left Camden hoping for an outside chance at a team bid to the NCAAs.  

“Yesterday was a tough day.  NCAA Selections were announced via live webcast at 4pm, and our team gathered to watch together at the boathouse.  We knew we had a slim chance, but still we hoped.  Teams are announced in alphabetical order.  The women sat glued to the screen, hand in hand, as the host announced Cal, and then moved right on to Harvard. And just like that, our season is over.   

“It's disappointing to have come so close, yet just a bit short.  It's hard to confront the reality that we just weren't fast enough this year.  Only twelve teams are selected from across the U.S. each year to compete for a National Title.  Within five minutes of the announcement, we began plotting our course for next year.  What can we do over the summer?  How can we crush the 2009 Sprints and make it clear to the selection committee that Dartmouth belongs at the National Championship?  It is that determination that makes me so proud to coach this team.” 

The LIGHTWEIGHT Sprints recap from Coach Steve Perry:

“The varsity and second varsity arrived in Worcester ranked 5th, while the frosh and third varsity we ranked 10th and 6th, respectfully.  Both the first and second varsity qualified for the final out of the morning heats. The 2V raced superbly in the morning, leading the field for 1500m, eventually qualifying in second place.  In the varsity heat we engaged in a dogfight with Harvard for the final qualifying spot.  Dartmouth grabbed a quick 4 seat lead on the Crimson and held off charge after charge finishing a boat length ahead of Harvard to make the final.  The frosh did not fair as well, qualifying for the petite final later in the afternoon. 

“In the 2V final Dartmouth screamed off the line into the lead through the first 250m.  Navy and Yale reeled them in and began a strong push through the middle 1000m.  The 2V responded with two large moves and held the faster pace of the field until the third 500m.  Then Navy and Yale raised the stakes again to which we could not respond and ended up finishing 6th.   

“In the varsity final we had drawn lane 5 next to Columbia in lane 6 and Navy in lane 3.  Yale was in lane 1 with Princeton in 2 and Cornell in 3.  Off the start Princeton and Yale took a half a length on the field.  We responded well in the high 20 and pulled into 2nd place.  Then, Cornell took control at the 500m mark.  In 20 strokes the Big Red went from 4th to 1st place and never looked back.  Princeton and Yale went with Cornell while a fight for 4th place developed between Navy, Columbia and Dartmouth.  We clawed into Navy heading into the last 500m but the midshipmen sprint proved to be too much for our eight to handle as we finished down a boat length to Navy and held off Columbia to finish 5th in the final. 

“Ultimately, anytime we do not win our crews feel disappointment.  However with both the 2V and 1V making the final and mixing it up with the leaders I felt good about the fight our guys gave.  Next, will be preparing the varsity eight for the IRA National Championship in three weeks, we hope to find the level of speed we need to break into the top three crews in the country.” 

PackNetwork, a streaming video company, covered the Sprints for the first time this year. Check out video of the varsity lightweight crew’s final here: 


Topher, Wendy, and Steve