Sprints got underway under clean skies and slowly increasing headwinds; no course records today, if anything, crews will be in for nasty fighting conditions on the water this afternoon.
The form book was on today; most races went down as seeded, with a few notable exceptions. Yale, seeded 7th, rode (or "rowed", as college dailies might finally have it) a fierce sprint to within a deck of top-seeded Princeton in the MV8 (see photo at right), sending undefeated #6 seed Syracuse to the Petites.
The fourth-seeded Princeton lightweight V8 also finds themselves in the Petites, after finishing fourth in a scorcher of a heat that saw #8 seed Cornell win, with 8/10s of a second separating Harvard, top-seeded Navy, and Princeton. With the headwind coming and going, it's not easy to compare times, but the top four finishers in heat 1 of the V Light 8 would have won heat two, where Yale, Dartmouth and Columbia advanced to the Grand.
Wisconsin's annual trip to Sprints as a relatively unknown quantity claimed another victim today, as the 7th seeded Wisco frosh beat #2 seed Brown by a length to claim a spot in the Grand, behind a surging Northeastern frosh crew, who were the fastest qualifiers in their event today.
The Navy lights went "6 for 5" today, advancing all five of their #1 seeded crews to their respective Grand finals, along with the Navy 4V, which qualified for the 3V grand. A glance at the qualifying times would indicate that Navy could win two medals in this event, whew.
For the first time in as long as I can remember, we had fours on the course today: after legwork from several EARC coaches, a 3V/2F 4+ Grand Final was run during the morning heats today, with Penn taking it, over BU and Brown. A couple of these fours looked pretty good actually; here's hoping that coaches and the EARC keep the 4+ option open down the road.
Full results for this morning's racing are on the Powerhouse Timing site. (tremendous thanks to Powerhouse for allowing us the use of their finish line photos once again this year).
On to the Finals!