Past Seasons‎ > ‎3‎ > ‎2008-2009 Season‎ > ‎

2008 Princeton Chase Recap

October 30, 2008


All three programs brought varsity eights, varsity fours, and freshman eights to Princeton, NJ for last weekend’s Princeton Chase. Race recaps are below a summary of finishes by Dartmouth’s top crews in each event: 

The heavyweights finished 14th among 40 varsity heavyweight eights, 11th among 47 varsity heavyweight fours, and 5th among 16 freshman heavyweight eights. 

The lightweights finished 9th among 30 varsity lightweight eights, 17th among 36 lightweight fours, and 4th among 11 freshman lightweight eights. 

The women finished 11th among 43 varsity eights, 6th among 40 varsity fours, and 6th among 16 novice eights. 


“The great thing about this team is that everyone loves to race, period. The competitive drive is always there. The race started out strong and aggressive - everyone wanted to push in on Northeastern and kick off BU right from the beginning.  Down the first stretch by the 2k course, it was strictly a battle for water.  We answered each move BU tried to make.  I think my favorite part of the race was when, unexpectedly, a second cox joined in to spur the boat to a new level of speed - my 7 seat, Laura Gardner.  Laura burst out with a stream of  "Walk away!"s that the rest of the boat took in stride. Although we lost ground against BU who subsequently took the inside of the big turn, we had a solid race that showed definite improvement from last week. Given that first half of the race, I'm excited to see what happens in the spring when we race duel 2ks.  We've demonstrated the desire and intensity to battle with stronger crews. As we head into the Foot of the Charles, racing in 4+s will demand a sharper focus to maintain that desire and intensity.  I'm confident that the team will be able to step up to the challenge.”--Cathy Yao, 1V cox 

Captain Kate Harney:

“My favorite part of the Chase was racing in a Senior 4+ in the fluorescent green floral unis we made for our sophomore summer (a hit with the race officials). We reminisced about our past 3 years together- all the way back to our very first race, the Belly of the Carnegie.  It was amazing that we all remembered specific details of the race course, the hotel and even the bus ride down. It made me realize how much I've shared with these girls and how far we've come.” 


Following last weekend's dismal last place finish at the Charles the lightweight's seat raced every day in preparation for the Princeton Chase. The varsity started fourth behind Princeton and ahead of Columbia. Princeton had won the previous weekend's Charles and made it clear they were going for the win, setting a blazing pace from the start of the 2.8-mile course.  Dartmouth went with them.  Rowing the rating two beats lower than the week before, Dartmouth held their margin behind Princeton for the first mile and a half.  Columbia, behind Dartmouth, took the rating up and began to make a push at the halfway mark to which Dartmouth responded, holding the Lions off through the Harrison St. Bridge.  Meanwhile, Yale began to motor through the field after the first mile, pulling away from Harvard and passing Georgetown to push through Columbia and sit 2 seats open water down on Dartmouth with 500m left in the race.  Coxswain Kristen Eberhart handled the situation magnificently and stuck to an aggressive course to grab the inside of the final turn from the Bulldogs and pulled away from Columbia and Yale. 

The first eight finished 9th, 7th among first eights, out of the field of 30 boats; this was a marked improvement over last week's finish at the Charles. Dartmouth made up 22 seconds on the league beating Columbia by 2 seconds, MIT by 16 seconds, Pennsylvania by 19 seconds and Saint Joseph's University by 21 seconds.  All of these crews had bested Dartmouth at the Charles the week before. 

The lightweights will be breaking down into fours and pairs over the next three weeks in preparation for the Foot of the Charles.  We will be training for mileage and to increase our aerobic base while perfecting our boat moving skills in fours.—Lightweight Coach Steve Perry 


Having solved a few of the issues that hurt our performance at the Head of the Charles, the guys turned in a performance that I hope is more indicative of their speed, with our top crews beating several crews that finished ahead of us at the Charles. Despite the fact that our results represent a massive improvement over last year (the eight’s result marked the biggest improvement among Chase competitors), I think the guys left Princeton feeling unfulfilled.  

Last year’s results fall far short of the standard we’re chasing this year and the guys have chosen to ignore where we were at any given time last year when assessing their current performance. Instead, they focus on making today better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today. I think a few of them felt that they had a better piece in Friday’s practice than they did on Sunday, thus failing to meet their goal. I hate seeing them frustrated, but I’m glad the team is hungry as we head into our final weeks of training before the Foot of the Charles.—Heavyweight Coach Topher Bordeau 

One final note: as I (Topher) was walking back from the Harrison Street bridge to the boat trailer area after watching the fours races, I strolled through a huge collection of alumni/parents tents from each program and though “oh, jeez… we didn’t bring the tent this year, we really have to get on that next year.” About six steps later, I spied a big Dartmouth Crew tent filled with rowers and parents and stocked with good food. A HUGE THANK YOU to the McConnells, Susanne Curry, the Mann family, and everyone else who coordinated on this! Between all of the coaching, rigging, recruiting, loading shells, and transportation that happens in these busy fall weekends, things get hectic. It’s wonderful to have something like this taken care of. 


Topher, Wendy, and Steve