On Oct. 18, the men’s lightweight crew team finished as the top collegiate squad at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston for the third consecutive year. Captain Isaiah Brown ’16 views a large part of the team’s success as attributable to “Summer Points,” a system of training incentives that Brown credits for making the lightweight Tigers “one of the fittest teams out there.”
What exactly does this system entail?
“Different workouts are worth different amounts of points — the goal is to average an hour of cardio per day, but you can run, row, bike, erg, or lift, and these different activities get you points based on the quantity and intensity,” Brown said. “There are multiples for doing a race, working out with a teammate, working out at a different altitude.”
The team keeps track of everything in a Google document viewable by all rowers. The goal for the roughly 100-day long summer break was to average 1,000 points per day; 100,000 points also happened to be a requirement to be in contention for a boat at the Charles.
Along with the high level of fitness across the team, Brown viewed the depth of talent across all boats as an important factor in their success last week, and something critical to their success moving forward.
“We have a really strong group of freshman who came in this year, three of them were in the varsity boat that won the Head of the Charles,” Brown said. “The team keeps growing in terms of size and there are more and more guys competing for every boat. That fuels success.”
Brown, who captained the crew team at Phillips Exeter Academy prior to arriving at Princeton, understands firsthand what it means to compete for a boat. Immediately prior to the last race of his sophomore year, Brown broke a rib; just as he was making a recovery from this injury months later, he collapsed from a heatstroke during a race in New Haven. He was finally able to start rowing again last November, working his way back into the first varsity boat in the spring season.
In addition to rising to challenges on the water, Brown has succeeded in Princeton’s academic environment, as recognized by receiving the prestigious Shapiro Prize last year, an annual award that honors exceptional academic achievement during freshman and sophomore years.
For now, Brown is looking forward to competing at the Princeton Chase next Saturday. While the past two years have seen somewhat disappointing Chase performances for the Tigers following success at the Charles, this year there are two weeks separating the two races rather than one.
“I think we were able to get a lot of good, hard work in last week that put us in shape before midterms started,” Brown said. “There’s a pretty strong feeling that we won’t be replicating the past two years.”
Despite the team’s focus on maintaining a high level of fitness since getting back to campus, there have been a few moments for the rowers to catch their breath during one of the team’s weekly Friday morning workouts.
“Our coach wanted to challenge some guys based on whether they were deserving of their points over the summer, so he had some of the guys who had put down yoga lead us in Friday morning yoga,” Brown said. “It was a nice break from the stadiums and hill sprints.”
Princeton football’s Ivy League woes continued as the Tigers fell 42-7 at defending-champion Harvard on Saturday. Princeton tied the game, 7-7, with 6:11 left in the second quarter, but the Crimson replied with a touchdown before halftime and four more scores on its first four possessions of the second half. Harvard has won 20 consecutive games since its 2013 loss to the Tigers.
Field hockey remained undefeated in Ivy games with a 2-1 win at Harvard. The Tigers also lost a weekend game at No. 2 Connecticut, 4-1. Princeton’s final two Ivy games will be against the teams tied for second place in the league standings, Cornell and Penn.
Women’s soccer extended its winning streak to 10 games with a 2-1 victory at Harvard. At 5-0 in Ivy play, the Tigers have a chance to clinch at least a share of the league title — and an NCAA Tournament berth — with a win over Cornell Oct. 31.