PRINCETON, N.J. -- The Ivy League Women's
Rowing Championship makes its debut in 2012 as all eight women's
crews converge on the familiar setting of Cooper River Park.
The Cooper River has served the championship course where the previous 10 Ivy titles have been decided as a part of the Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges (EAWRC) Sprints. This year the League launches its own championship to determine which crew will take home the Sally P. Shoemaker Trophy.
Princeton, ranked sixth in the nation in the latest Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA)/USRowing Poll, comes into the 2012 championship as the top seed in the varsity eight (V8), second varsity eight (2V) and varsity four (V4), plus the third varsity eight (3V), with a perfect 26-0 record against Ivy competition in the regular season. The Tigers are hoping to pull off the same magic from a year ago when they crossed the finish line first in all four races. Princeton's V8 win gave the Tigers their 13th Ancient Eight title and third on the Cooper River course.
Defending NCAA champion Brown and Yale enter the regatta as the second and third seeds, respectively, in the varsity eight with hopes of knocking off the top-seeded Tigers. The two crews tangled just two weeks prior to the championship with Yale reclaiming the Nat & Anne Case Cup for the first time since 1990 by winning the second varsity and varsity four races. Brown won the varsity eight race over the Bulldogs in the Case Cup to continue its hot streak that has the Bears' top boat earn wins over the last four race weekends of the regular season, including capturing a group title at the Lake Natoma Invitational which is the same course where the team won the 2011 national championship.
Yale seems to be peaking at the right time to make a run in the V8, 2V and 3V races. The Bulldogs captured four of five races against Radcliffe the weekend prior to the Case Cup. Those strong showings moved Yale to the No. 10 spot in the latest CRCA/USRowing Poll.
Radcliffe (Harvard), winner of a League-most four Ivy titles on the Cooper River, looks to figure in the championship mix in three NCAA Championship races and the Black and White is seeded fourth in the varsity eight and varsity four and second in the second varsity eight. Ranked 13th in the latest CRCA/USRowing Poll, Radcliffe comes into the Ivy event following a solid performance against five of the nation's top 19 teams where its teams placed second in each of the six races its boats competed.
The Ivy League is conducting its first women's rowing championship event after a 38-year history of determining its champion at the Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges (EAWRC) Sprints.
Six Ivy institutions -- Columbia, Dartmouth, Radcliffe, Penn, Princeton and Yale -- joined 11 other schools to form the EAWRC in 1974 as women's rowing had been growing in the United States, especially on the collegiate level, in the 1960s and into the early 1970s. Held on Lake Besek in Middlefield, Conn., the 1974 EAWRC championship saw Radcliffe defeat 18 other boats to capture the first EAWRC title as well as the first Ivy League title in the sport of women's rowing.
Brown and Cornell, along with Northeastern and Wisconsin, joined the EAWRC prior to the 1979 championship, which took place on Lake Waramaug in New Preston, Conn.
As it has been in the past, the Ivy champion is determined by the fastest boat in the varsity eight grand final.
2012 Ivy League Women's Rowing Championship Seedings
As of May 9
Second Varsity Eight
Varsity Four A
Varsity Four B
1. Radcliffe C
4. Radcliffe D
The Ivy League is making a landmark greening commitment as the first collegiate athletics conference to team up with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the principal environmental advisor to all U.S. professional sports leagues, in the name of environmental protection.
To kick off this partnership and the greening of all its championships, the Ivy League integrated ecologically intelligent practices into the planning and production of the inaugural Ivy League Women's Rowing Championship.