Saturday was a hard-fought day for Penn men's rowing on the Schuylkill River, as they faced off against local competition for the second time thus far this season.
Both the heavyweight and lightweight teams from Penn competed against schools in the greater Philadelphia area in the Kerr Cup regatta, including Temple, Drexel, Saint Joseph’s, and Washington College. The event was officially hosted by Drexel.
“While training and competition are very limited in scope compared to what we are used to, it’s extremely gratifying to see the team’s improvement from the first race two weeks ago to yesterday," senior heavyweight Adam Lyman said.
The heavyweights had a dominant day, which started in Heat Two of the morning’s Varsity Eights event, where they took second in their race with a time of 5:50.5 on the 2,000 meter course, only finishing behind Temple (5:44.13).
Penn’s heavyweights’ Second Varsity Eights were also had a solid showing with a second place finish, and a respectable time of 5:51.4, less than two seconds outside of first.
Penn’s heavyweights didn’t compete in the Third Varsity Eights, so their next event came in the Varsity Fours. They had a decent showing, placing second out of three, with a time of 7:02.9, a little over four seconds out of first place.
The increased amount of practices over time for the Quakers has certainly paid off with their success in the afternoon meets, as they have been able to build up their stamina more and more since the Ivy League brought back sports.
“The benefit of each practice and the progress being made each time on the water is dramatic,” Lyman said. “It’s beyond anything I’ve experienced in any sport.”
Despite it being their second race of the day, the heavyweight Quakers improved immensely during the afternoon race in the Varsity Eights event, posting a time of 5:44.3. Not only was this more than a six-second improvement from their initial time, this was also the second-best time posted out of all 14 events.
In the Second Varsity Eights event, Penn’s heavyweights impressed once again. The Red and Blue took first place in Heat One, with a time of 5:58.9, then took second place during the Heat Two with a time of 5:57.6, trailing only Penn’s lightweights (5:55.0) by less than three seconds.
“We raced Temple and Drexel two weeks ago, and it was pretty apparent that their extra months of training in the fall semester had put them decently ahead of us,” senior heavyweight Thomas Vasquez said. “This past Saturday, we came much closer to Temple and were able to beat out Drexel as well. It’s been a lot of fun to get back into it.”
The success of the heavyweights was amplified by the lightweights’ success over the course of the day.
The lightweight Quakers set the tone for the remainder of the meet in Heat One of the Varsity Eight event, where they posted a time of 5:45.8, over four full seconds before the second place finisher (5:49.9).
In the Second Varsity Eights of the morning session, the lightweight Quakers made it back-to-back first place finishes with a time of 5:53.8. Unfortunately, the final morning event, the Third Varsity Eights, was not a successful one for the lightweight Quakers, as they finished in last place in that event with a time of 6:20.9.
The lightweights from Penn competed in the three of the afternoon races. The Second Varsity Eights was once again another first place finish for the Quakers, while the Varsity Eights and Third Varsity Eights both notched second place finishes for the Red and Blue.
All in all, Saturday was a success for Penn rowing. They will look to continue to improve for their third and final meet of the year on May 3 at the Bergen Cup Regatta.
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