PENNSAUKEN, N.J. -- The stage is set for another exciting closing act to the regular-season regatta schedule as the Ancient Eight descend on Cooper River Park in Pennsauken, N.J., for the 2014 Ivy League Women's Rowing Championship.
The Ivy League® Digital Network is set for live coverage of the entire championship on Sunday, May 18 with live audio of the morning heats beginning at 8:15 a.m. and live video of the afternoon finals beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Brown and Princeton sit in the familiar star-studded positions as the top seeds in the League's three NCAA Championship boats. However, these leading crews face strong contingent of upset-minded comrades ready to steal the spotlight. The Bears have their sights on hoisting the Sally P. Shoemaker Ivy League Women's Rowing Trophy for the first time since 2008, while the Tigers come in ready to keep their paws on the title for a second-straight year and a third time in four years.
Ranked No. 1 in the May 7 USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Poll presented by Pocock Racing Shells, Brown has left little doubt that the Bears boast one of the nation's fastest varsity eights. Only once this season has head coach John Murphy's top boat not grabbed a first-place finish -- in the Lake Natoma Classic finishing second by 3.6 seconds to then-No. 1 California. Brown closed strong in its last outing almost three weeks ago with its first varsity eight crossing the finish line in the school's best V8 time since April 30, 2006 and its varsity four putting a stamp on an unbeaten regular season.
Princeton is poised once again to be a formidable foe for the seven-time NCAA Champion Bears. The Tigers' second varsity eight is among the top three in the nation and has been perfect in six races this year, while head coach Lori Dauphiny's first varsity eight comes in with an 8-2 record this spring. One of those setbacks was a season-opening loss to Brown by three seconds in the Class of 1987 Trophy cup race.
Yale, Radcliffe, Dartmouth and Cornell sit among the next grouping built to make runs at championship hardware.
Yale scored a victory over Radcliffe in the marquee matchup of the Case Cup race but the Black and White bested the Bulldogs in the 2V8 and V4, building the type of momentum needed to have a strong three-boat showing before attentions turn to the national championship regatta. Yale enters the Ivy championship looking to solidify its annual place as one of the League's elite rowing programs that is always just a perfect row away from pulling off the unpredicted.
The battle between Dartmouth and Cornell is yet another interesting plot twist intertwined into the story of this year's championship. These two met just over two weeks ago when the Big Green won three of five races and swept the Big Red in three NCAA Championship boats to take the Parents' Cup and secure a top-four seeding in the first varsity eight.
Add Columbia and Penn into the mix of this 2,000-meter drama and the 2014 Ivy League Women's Rowing Championship has all the makings of being another blockbuster day of racing on one of the country's most-known courses.
2014 IVY LEAGUE WOMEN'S ROWING CHAMPIONSHIP SEEDINGS
As of May 12
First Varsity Eight
Second Varsity Eight
Third Varsity Eight
Varsity Four A
Varsity Four B
7. Penn B
8. Penn C