March 30, 2002
PRINCETON N. J - The Brown women's varsity crew passed its first test of the 2002 season with surprising ease Saturday, beating Princeton by 12 seconds, almost four lengths, on Princeton's Lake Carnegie.
Brown also won the second-varsity race. Princeton won the two novice races and Michigan State, making its first racing appearance in the east, won the third varsity fours race, rowing in ideal conditions.
Brown varsity coach John Murphy had expected the Princeton race to be a particularly difficult one. Princeton had every member of last year's varsity crew returning. Brown, on the other hand, had had to replace five oarswomen from last year's Brown varsity, which won the easterns at Camden, N.J. and finished second in the nationals.
But, starting rrom the 500-meter mark where it led by only two seats, the Brown varsity steadily pulled away from the Tigers.
"We were really pleased to say the least,''Murphy said. "The varsity rowed a controlled race and handled the pressure well. We were under a lot of pressure, remembering how Princeton dominated women's rowing in the fall. To be fair about it, they had two varsity people out with injuries but we didn't know that before the race."
The Brown varsity lineup included three seniors: Lucy Lueders-Booth, Rosie Branson-Gill, and Jessica Lanning, the three tri-captains, rowing in the two through four seats. The remainder of the varsity line had sophomore Annie Carter in bow, juniors Frances Betancourt, Eleanor Dodson and Sarah Broadhead in the five, six and seven seats, sophomore Karen Pratzer at stroke and sophomore Erika Faires, coxswain.
The Brown second varsity boat was down by a length after the first 500 meters, but came back to win its race.
Brown's first novice boat led Princeton by a length at the 1000-meter mark. But Princeton crew gradually narrowed the gap and won by two seats with a strong finishing sprint.
Murphy touted the Michigan State Spartnas as a strong squad. "They've had terrible weather out west and had very little water time at all, but they have good athletes and they'll have to be recokoned with later on,'' he said.
The Brown women will open their home season next Saturday against Harvard.
Second novice eights: Princeton, 7:12.28, Brown, 7:24.7. Third novice fours: Michigan State, 7:38.4, Princeton A, 7:41.02, Brown, 7:41.2, Princeton B, 7:44.2. First novice eightrs: Princeton, 6:54.3, Brown, 6:54.7. Second varsity eights: Brown, 6:55.02, Princeton, 6:57.2, Michigan State, 6:59.8. Varsity eights: Brown, 6:35.5, Princeton, 6:47.5, Michigan State, 6:51.09