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mrowing-lightweight

Penn lightweight rowing reclaimed the Callow Cup on the 100th anniversary of the event's first race.

Credit: Chase Sutton

Penn lightweight rowing reclaimed the Callow Cup from Navy over the weekend, winning for the fourth time in five years.

The 2019 edition of Callow Cup, named after Russell “Rusty" Callow, who coached at both Penn and Navy, marked the 100th anniversary of the first race between the schools’ lightweight crew teams. 

Incidentally, this event is also believed to be the first known record of intercollegiate lightweight rowing in the United States.

The Red and Blue also won the 1919 Cup, a title named after the initial launch of the Callow Cup on May 31, 1919, by capturing the most points overall in the regatta. 

The Fourth Varsity Eights and Third Varsity Eights were on deck as the first two races of the day, but both events were cancelled due to river conditions. 

"It was just too windy and the river was dangerous, so the coaches and referees decided to cancel the races,” coach Colin Farrell said. “The boys really wanted to race and rightly so as they had trained all week, but at the end of the day, rowing is an outdoor sport with lots of elements, and their safety comes first.”

After conditions improved, the Second Varsity Eights cruised to a win with a time of 6:07.00 on the 2,000-meter course on the Severn River, finishing more than six seconds ahead of Navy. 

The Varsity 8+ added the cherry on top to a historic Saturday morning, edging out Navy by .3 seconds to clinch the Callow Cup in a photo finish. Consequently, by securing the most points available by winning both of the day's races, Penn also won the 1919 Cup. 

“We are trying to get better with every race,” Farrell said. “Cup races are really good practice for the guys, and today was really good. We will try our best to improve in the next three weeks and hope the group executes well together.” 

The Quakers have three weeks off before they are back in action at the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges Sprints in Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. 

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