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Penn's heavyweight crew team raced Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y., last weekend in its final tune-up before this weekend's IRAs.

The Quakers left Ithaca with the Madeira Cup, which goes to the winner of the varsity eight race. Cornell, however, kept the Wray Cup in New York by winning two out of the three main races.

The Quakers varsity eight boat beat the Big Red by a full 2 1/2 seconds to cement their 38th Madeira Cup victory.

In addition to holding the overall margin over the Big Red, the Quakers have been especially dominant lately, winning the last six Madeiras, and 15 of the last 16.

The main focus was on rowing well in preparation for this weekend's IRAs on the Cooper River in Camden County, N.J.

The Quakers -- who could be racing as early as 6:00 this morning -- are taking the "one race at a time" approach, rather than worrying about the big picture.

"I think that we need to concentrate on racing well in the heats [today and tomorrow], rather than worrying about winning the regatta," Quakers senior Greg Jenemann said.

Jenemann basically wants to avoid a repeat of what happened at the Eastern Sprints a couple of weeks ago.

The Quakers, although they won the Petite Final, placed seventh overall, essentially because their early races weren't strong enough to make the Grand Final.

"As we saw at Sprints, we can't look past any crew," Jenemann said. "We can't win if don't make the finals. Hopefully, by racing well success will follow."

Perhaps no one on the Quakers is hoping for success more than the seniors like Jenemann and others who missed their own commencement ceremony because they were competing at Eastern Sprints

"As a senior, this is my graduation," Jenemann said. "Because after Saturday I am no longer a Penn student or athlete, so I want to go out with a positive feeling."

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