Alums from four different Ivy League schools head to London as the Lightweight Men’s Four boat for the United States. Columbia’s Nick LaCava (2009), Dartmouth’s Anthony Fahden (2008), Harvard’s Will Newell (2011) and Princeton’s Robin Prendes (2011) hope to earn the League’s first lightweight four medal since Penn’s Jeff Pfaendtner won bronze with Team USA in 1996.
LaCava, Fahden, Newell and Prendes earned a berth to the Olympics thanks to a first-place finish at the 2012 Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland in May 2012, where they edged the Netherlands by .14 seconds.
Three of the four earned All-Ivy honors during their time at their respective schools, led by Newell, who earned second-team All-Ivy honors in 2009 and 2010 and first team accolades in 2011. Prendes was a two-time first-team All-Ivy recipient, as his boat held off that of Newell’s in 2009 and 2010, and Fahden took home first-team All-Ivy in 2007.
Fahden punctuated his Dartmouth career by helping the varsity men’s eight boat win the EARC Sprints Championship in 2007, before transitioning to the US lightweight four after graduation.
LaCava, who served as team captain and was named Team MVP as a senior with the Lions, is hoping for an Olympic finish as sweet as the company he co-founded, Chocomize.com, an online custom chocolate company that allows people to build their own chocolate candy bar.
Newell served as team captain for the Crimson as a senior, the same year he earned his first All-Ivy first team award, after back-to-back second team honors. His Harvard career included an undefeated 10-0 record and a No. 1 national ranking in 2010 and an Eastern Championship for the varsity eight in 2011.
Prendes has experienced success in England previously, as he was part of the Princeton men’s lightweight crew that won the Royal Henley Regatta in 2009. Prendes’ career at Princeton included two Sprints championships, two Ivy titles, two IRA national titles and the Royal Henley Regatta victory.