Each of Penn’s three crew teams took on stiff competition away from the friendly confines of the Schuylkill River this weekend.
The heavyweights, in Ridgefield Park, N.J., went after Yale and Columbia in the Blackwell Cup and rowed a tightly contested race, with all three boats completing the course within ten seconds of each other.
Defending champion Yale maintained possession of the Cup, beating Columbia by six seconds and Penn by nine. The Quakers raced the Bulldogs in a second varsity eight contest, and Yale again took first.
The No. 9 lightweights, also in Ridgefield Park, had a similar day, finishing third in the Dodge Cup behind No. 7 Columbia and No. 2 Yale. The race was tight between the Bulldogs and Lions, but the Quakers finished well behind. Penn finished in 6:12.2, behind first-place Yale at 5:57.3 and Columbia at 5:59.4.
The Red and Blue ended the day on a high note, however, when the third varsity eight beat out Yale by a four-second margin, covering the 2,000-meter course in 6:41.1.
The women’s team headed to Charlottesville, Va., to take on Ivy rival Cornell in the UVA Invitational. The varsity eights raced for the Class of ’89 Plaque and Cornell retained it for the third straight year. It was a close race for the Quakers, who finished four seconds behind the Big Red, 6:34.9 to Cornell’s 6:30.6.
The Quakers then got a look at some nonconference competition, taking on Michigan State and Minnesota in a set of afternoon races. Penn finished second to the Spartans in the varsity eight race and fell in the varsity four race to Minnesota, but beat Michigan State by half a second.
The Red and Blue finished their weekend in Virginia racing against Notre Dame and San Diego. The Quakers took second in the varsity eight race, but defeated third-place finisher San Diego by a comfortable 15 seconds.
Penn finished second to the Irish in the second varsity eight race, with San Diego a distant third.— Anna Strong