LEONIA, N.J. – The Columbia heavyweight rowing team finished second to Yale in the Blackwell Cup varsity eight race, but was able to make up ground on Penn to avenge a loss to the Quakers last weekend. The No. 2 Bulldogs swept all three events at the regatta.

Yale took immediate control in the early stages of the race and the Lions took a three-seat advantage over the Quakers at the 500-meter marker. Columbia could not quite pull away from Penn, but did not relinquish the lead in a thrilling final 1,000-meters. The Lions maintained a slight edge and crossed the finish line two seats ahead of the Quakers.

After another strong start by the Bulldogs in the second varsity, Columbia established firm control of second place a quarter of the way through the race. The Lions were able to hold that significant margin most of the way and was approximately three seats of open water in front of the Quakers.

"We had this weird quirk in the schedule facing Penn two time in eight days," head coach and director of rowing Scott Alwin noted. "In the first and second and varsity, we were able to improve our margins. This week, we had more separation in our finishes and that was really satisfying. In the varsity eight, we were about three seconds off at Princeton last week and now we're ahead of them. We had a different first 500 and built a lead that Penn was able to cut into, but our guys did enough to hold them off in the end."

The third varsity eight only featured Columbia and Yale. The Lions came out aggressive at the start, but the Bulldogs maintained their rhythm and stayed within striking distance. Yale was up by a significant margin at the 1,000-meter juncture as they took the win.

"In the third varsity, that Yale boat is one of the strongest in the league and they have a chance to win Eastern Sprints," said Alwin. "Our guys were aggressive and got up early and held on as long as they could."

Columbia will race on the Charles River against Boston University and Syracuse for the Doc Lusins Trophy on Saturday, April 21.

FINAL RESULTS
BLACKWELL CUP

Varsity Eight
Yale – 5:53.5
Columbia – 6:07.4
Penn – 6:08.5

Second Varsity Eight
Yale – 6:00.7
Columbia – 6:15.7
Penn – 6:21.2

Third Varsity Eight
Yale – 5:52.2
Columbia – 6:14.9