PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania women’s rowing team heads to the Ivy League Championship this weekend in a new location. After running on the Cooper River in nearby Cherry Hill for its first four years -- just over the bridge from Penn’s campus -- this Sunday’s Ivy Championship will take place on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, N.J.
SCHEDULE CHANGE: Late Saturday, the Ivy League announced that the schedule was changing again due to predicted high winds on Sunday. So now racing will start with heats at 6 a.m. on Sunday; in each heat the top two will advance to the final. Finals will take place, immediately after the conclusion of heats, with the first final going off at 8 a.m. The Varsity 8+ final, which will determine the Ivy League champion, will be raced at 8:50 a.m.
Penn’s climb up the Ivy ladder has been steady and consistent during the Championship’s history. The Quakers earned just 21 total points at the first Championship in 2012, but since then they have gained points every year (25 in 2013, 34 in 2014) and earned sixth with 36 at last year’s Championship.
Penn will row five boats at the Championship on Sunday, two eights and three fours. Among the eights, the Var\sity 8 will enter Sunday’s heats as the fifth seed while the Second Varsity 8 will be the fourth seed in its division. Among the fours, the Varsity will enter the Championship’s heats as the seventh seed.
Among the Varsity 8, three Ivy League teams are ranked in the College Rowing Coaching Association’s national Top 10 -- Brown at No. 1, Yale at No. 7, Princeton at No. 9 -- while a fourth (Harvard) is ranked 18th.
“We’ve moved into preparations for the Ivy League Championships and you can really feel the excitement and focus building,” said Penn’s first-year head coach, Wesley Ng. “Since our previous race versus Princeton, Dartmouth and Bucknell we have explored new areas to continue to find speed, analyzed our strengths and weaknesses, and completed selection for our varsity fours. Our final round of ergometer testing was encouraging, and the metrics that we follow in addition to raw speed, showed that our group is doing a far better job of pacing over the distance and understanding their own physiology. There are many reasons to feel optimistic about what is to come!”