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The Penn men's heavyweight crew team is encountering some rough waters as it rows through the end of its spring season.

The Burk Cup found a new home on May 14 after three consecutive years of gracing the Penn boathouse. The varsity Quakers came two seconds shy of defeating the Huskies on the home waters of the Schuylkill River.

"We didn't row with the level of intensity necessary to beat Northeastern," varsity rower Doug Sieg said.

Only a week later, the Red and Blue traveled to Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. to compete in the Eastern Sprints, the annual Ivy League Championship regatta.

The Quakers were not able to qualify this year for the Grand Finals, unlike recent years where they have medaled and even won the regatta.

"This year's heat was difficult because there were a lot of closely grouped crews rowing against us," senior captain Greg Jenemann said.

With the cancellation of the April 29 Adams Cup race against Harvard and Navy, Penn lost the opportunity to improve their rank, which possibly could have resulted in an easier heat.

"As a senior, this was a disappointing loss," Jenemann said. "However, we need to stay focused and concentrate on building speed for the IRAs in two weeks to beat some of the faster crews we raced in Sprints."

Brown won the Eastern Sprints for the first time since 1994. Their varsity eight crossed the finish line in the Grand Final with a time of 5:43.18. Princeton and Wisconsin rounded out the top three.

Penn's varsity eight raced in and won the Petite Final, clocking in at 5:48.96.

"The team is disappointed as a whole with our results," Sieg said. "However, we are trying to take the positives and build on them as we prepare for our last two races."

The Red and Blue will travel to Ithaca this weekend to race Cornell before the IRA Championships, the final regatta of the season, where top crews from around the country will compete for the national title.

The IRAs will be held on the Cooper River in Pennsauken, N.J. from June 1-3. The racing schedule is similar to that of the Eastern Sprints with a series of heats followed by finals. Qualification for finals is determined by heat performance.

The Quakers hope to improve with each practice over the next two weeks and end on a high note.

"Earlier in the season, we raced the faster crews like Princeton and Wisconsin and were right there with them," Sieg said. "The fact that such a short margin separated us from them should give us much optimism and encouragement going into IRAs."

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