Around the Water Cooler: Wherein We All Win Gold Medals

Published by Martin Kessler on July 28, 2010 at 3:11AM

Solemnly I stand by the water cooler...

American history concentrators will tell you that the Gold Rush happened in the late 1800s in California. Fans of Ivy League crew would give you a different answer: Brest, Belarus in 2010. By the time the 2010 World Rowing Under 23 Championships concluded last Sunday, six rowers from four different Ancient Eight schools had struck gold at the four-day competition. But luckily for this Back Page correspondent and all the loyal readers out there, this edition of Around the Water Cooler will touch on more than just crew. We have some men’s lacrosse news, and—of course—some Ivy League basketball updates.

But first, a quiz. Knowing that only four of eight Ivy League schools had rowers win gold medals this past weekend in Belarus, which school could you safely bet returned empty handed? If you guessed Brown, you are—surprisingly—wrong. Recent Brown graduate Hannah Malvin rowed in the women’s fours for the United State’s boat that beat out Australia by just less than three seconds.

The other three schools are pretty predictable: Princeton, Harvard/Radcliffe, and Yale were the other schools that sent gold medal winners to Eastern Europe. Princeton led the way with three different gold medal winners: Michaela Strand, Sara Hendershot, and Ariel Frost.

Yale rower Taylor Ritzel and Radcliffe heavyweight Olivia Coffey set aside their collegiate rivalry for exactly six minutes and 31.97 seconds to win one for their country. Ritzel and Coffey teamed up in the US women’s eight boat (which was coxed by Princeton’s Frost) that defeated New Zealand by 4.51 seconds to take the gold. Also representing Harvard was lightweight freshman coach Lina Muri, who led three boats to gold medals—the pair, four, and eight.

Whew, that was more than enough crew for one lifetime. Keeping up with the theme of winning gold medals, Penn men’s assistant lacrosse coach dusted off his lacrosse stick to play goalie for the United States at the 2010 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championship played in Manchester, England. The U.S. defeated Canada 12-10 in the final behind a 15-save performance from Dougherty.

In hoops news, the Cornell men’s basketball team’s “tentatively projected 2010-2011 non-conference schedule” was released by the Cornell Basketball Blog. The Big Red is expected to square off against such elite opponents as Seton Hall, Syracuse, and Minnesota. The Harvard men’s basketball team is expected to take on at least four opponents from the power six conferences. The Crimson will host Colorado and visit Connecticut, Michigan, and Boston College. Also on the schedule for Harvard are the Atlantic 10’s Fordham and George Washington and the Colonial Athletic Association’s George Mason.