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Penn lightweight rowing struggled out of the gate at the Dodge Cup, failing to finish ahead of Ivy rivals Columbia and Yale.

Credit: Chase Sutton

This Saturday, Penn men’s heavyweight and lightweight rowing took to the water against a few Ivy League competitors. The lightweights competed at home on the Schuylkill River against Columbia and Yale, while the heavyweights took a short trip over to Leonia, N.J. to face both Columbia and Princeton.

Lightweight rowed with the Marcellus Hartley Dodge Cup on the line. Going into its matchup, Penn’s varsity eights was ranked third while Yale and Columbia were ranked fifth and sixth, respectively. Penn hasn’t won the Dodge Cup for the past 26 years and, unfortunately, couldn't turn its luck around this year.

The morning started with tough losses in the second, third, and fourth varsity eight races. In each, the Red and Blue placed in third out of three teams. In the second they fell short of second place by two seconds; they were behind by eight seconds in the third and the fourth by just .67 seconds.

In the varsity eight race, Penn was able to push to second place, three seconds ahead of Yale, but ultimately it was Columbia which left the Schuylkill with the Dodge Cup.

“In the fourth varsity and the third varsity, Yale had done a really good job of establishing control," coach Colin Farrell said. "I think we had done a good job in the middle of the races by kind of matching speeds but gave up a bit too much early and maybe a touch more at the end of the race as well. I think we still have a lot of work to do to put together a more complete race.”

The heavies also had a hard time in their battle with Columbia and Princeton for the Childs Cup. The Cup has been completely dominated by Princeton in recent years, and Penn has not won since 1993. In the second varsity eight race of the morning, Penn finished third of three, 1.8 seconds behind Columbia. The varsity eight race went better for the Quakers, who placed second, 4.5 seconds behind the Tigers. Penn has now earned second place in this race seven out of the last eight years.

The team is focused on building off of this performance moving forward.

“I don’t think it really changes anything from where we were before today," Farrell said. "We know our team, we know where we’re at and what we need to work on. The whole team is working towards being able to feel that we are putting our best effort out there, but the challenge in rowing is that you’re trying to coordinate nine people in order to get that to happen.”

The Red and Blue will be meeting these teams again next week. The heavies will take on both Yale and Columbia at home for the Blackwell Cup, and the lightweight team will have Princeton to take care of for the Wood-Hammond Trophy. Both squads will have the opportunity to take a step forward and improve upon their performances from this weekend.