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Men's Rowing - March Recap

Harvard's Sam O'Connor
Harvard's Sam O'Connor

Photo courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Ivy League men's rowing moves from a busy March to an active April with a month full of regattas leading up to the 67th Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges (EARC) Sprints in May.

All eight of the League's heavyweight and lightweight crews were in action in March with two schools having already been in action this month. Cornell and Harvard heavyweights competed in the San Diego Crew Classic March 31 and April 1 on Mission Bay's Crown Point Shores with the Crimson capturing the Copley Cup with a win in the varsity eight grand final. Harvard won the race in a time of 6:17.88 with Cornell coming in fifth at 6:55.53. The Crimson fell short of grabbing the Cabrillo Cup in the second varsity eight grand final, finishing just over two seconds behind California's A entry. The Big Red placed fourth behind Cal's B boat.

Harvard sits as the top ranked varsity eight crew in both the heavyweights and lightweights in the latest USRowing Varsity Eight Polls. The Crimson received in 10 of the 14 first-place votes in heavyweight poll and eight of 11 in the lightweight rankings released on April 4.

Ivies in the USRowing Heavyweight Men's Varsity Eight Poll (April 4)

Rank Team (First-Place Votes) Points Previous
1. Harvard (10) 275 1
4. Princeton 224 4
7. Yale 193 6
8. Brown 189 7
t10. Cornell 142 8
13. Columbia 116 13
15. Dartmouth 76 17
17. Penn 47 16

Ivies in the USRowing Lightweight Men's Varsity Eight Poll
(April 4)

Rank Team (First-Place Votes) Points Previous
1. Harvard (8) 198 1
2. Yale (3)
190 3
4. Princeton 167 2
5. Cornell 161 5
6. Dartmouth 150 8
7. Columbia 149 7
9. Penn 134 10


Under tough weather conditions, Brown fell to Yale in its first head-to-head event of the spring season on March 24. Both crews battle tough conditions and the Bears even had to deal with a breakage in its first varsity eight boat. Despite the weather, Yale crossed the line first in the three varsity eight races. The adverse weather followed Brown out west the following weekend in its top 10 matchup with No. 2 Washington. The Huskies won all five races as travel, borrowed boats and oars, added to the weather, plagued the Bears' performance on Montlake Cut in Seattle.

Columbia's crews got off to solid starts in March as its heavyweight and lightweight combined for a near sweep in Florida at the Governor's Cup on March 17. Two weeks following, the Lions' heavyweights defeated Dartmouth, MIT and Holy Cross to retain the Alumni Cup while lightweights struggled against Princeton and Georgetown in Fosburgh Cup in the morning but then rebounded to down Delaware in the afternoon on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, N.J..

While the bulk of the squad competed at the San Diego Crew Classic, Cornell's third varsity and freshman eights rowed against Harvard on the Lake Cayuga Inlet. The Crimson swept all three races. The Big Red lightweights hit their home course for first time this spring on April 7 hosting Penn and Harvard for the Matthews-Leonard Cups.

Dartmouth's heavyweights opened the spring with two wins at the Alumni Cup in the second varsity and novice eight races. The Big Green lightweights were idle in March and open their spring slate April 7 when the crew travels to Lake Lilinonah in Connecticut to race Delaware.

In addition to the Harvard heavyweights strong showing at the San Diego Crew Classic, the Crimson's third varsity and freshman eights swept Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y. Harvard's lightweights also started their spring with a sweep, taking all four races over Delaware on March 24.

Penn launched its spring schedule on March 23 with its heavyweights edged by Georgetown. The next day, the Quaker heavies rowed to a split, retaining the McCausland Cup over George Washington following a morning loss to Northeastern in the Burk Cup. Penn's lightweight crew has its first cup race on April 7 in a top 10 matchup against Cornell and Harvard for the Matthews-Leonard Cups.

The Princeton heavyweights kicked off their spring on March 31 with a sweep in all four races against Georgetown and Syracuse, including a victory by just over one second (6:19.6 to 6:20.9) in the second varsity eight race. The Tiger lightweights are 2-for-2 in their cup races this spring, defeating Navy for the Joseph Murtaugh Cup on March 24 and Georgetown and Columbia for the Fosburgh Cup on March 31.

The season-opening win over Brown on the Housatonic was Yale's only regatta for its  heavyweights so far this spring. The Bulldogs hit the water again on April 7 against Dartmouth for the Olympic Axe. The Yale lightweights were also successful in their only competition in March with a sweep over Navy.