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Penn women's rowing brought home victories in the Murphy Cup this weekend with the Varsity 8 and Second Varsity 8 boats.

Credit: Chase Sutton

Heavy winds on the Schuylkill brought two wins for the Penn women's rowing over the weekend.

Saturday’s Murphy Cup, which was originally scheduled to take place on the Schuylkill River, was moved to the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J. due to forecasts of high wins in Philadelphia. Nonetheless, the Quakers walked away with a pair of championships in the Varsity 8 and the Second Varsity 8.

The Varsity 8 advanced to the Grand Final by defeating four other boats in the morning heat, ranking third among all boats in the morning with a time of 6:54.24. In the afternoon, the Quakers clocked in a 6:42.79 to defeat North Carolina, Drexel, and Temple.

Junior Frances Kane, who rowed in the Varsity 8 boat, said that the squad was able to gain momentum from the morning and carry it into the afternoon.

“In the morning, we were up by a good amount in our heat, so we stayed more internal and just focused on rowing cleanly in the rough conditions," she said. "Going into the afternoon, we knew that it was going to be a tighter race so we brought more intensity and a better race mentality to the final.”

The Quakers’ Varsity 8 boat hopes to be able to use the momentum from its win this weekend for the rest of the season.

“Starting off the season with wins was definitely a positive, but we know next weekend will be tougher competition so we’ll need to be a lot more aggressive," Kane said. "I think this past weekend our crew did a good job of being composed in choppy windy conditions, which will be one of our strengths going forward. This week, we’ll be focusing on pushing the standard and staying collected in high pressure, tight races to prepare for Doc Hosea Regatta on Saturday.”

The Second Varsity 8 won its morning heat with a time of 7:00.49, clocking in the second-best time of all the heats. In the Grand Final, the Red and Blue defeated Drexel by nearly two seconds with a time of 6:47.17 to get the win.

Senior Alaina Hunt, who rowed in the Second Varsity boat, said the squad, which is largely composed of freshmen, will be able to use this weekend not only as a way to carry on momentum, but also to focus on areas of improvement.

"The most important area of improvement is finishing the race as strong and composed as we started the race," Hunt said. "We had gained a lot of speed in the first 1000 meters of the race, and then we got complacent and too comfortable, and it felt like we were not giving our all to make a larger gap between the second place boat. That just comes with more competitive practices geared towards second half racing.”

The Varsity 4 and the Second Varsity 4 Grand Finals were then cancelled due to poor weather conditions. The Varsity 4 placed first in the morning race, however, clocking in at 8:09.29 to easily defeat Drexel (8:51.00) and Colgate (9:39.05). The Second Varsity 4 A boat was a scratch, while the B boat placed second to Temple in its morning heat.

Penn will next compete in the Doc Hosea Invitational, which will also take place in Cherry Hill, next Saturday.