The competition was held on Mercer Lake in the Princeton area, after recent thunderstorms rendered the original venue, Lake Carnegie, unusable.
The highlight of the day was the varsity eights race among a talented quartet of boats -- Columbia and Navy, competing for the Cup, plus George Washington and FIT rowing as guests.
All four got off the starting line well, but George Washington soon shot into the lead. The Colonials maintained that lead through the first 1000 meters, with Navy moving into second.
Shortly after the 1000-meter mark, though, GW began to slip back. As Navy pulled away, barely, Columbia leaned into a pitched battle for second with GW and FIT.
"This was really tight racing," Columbia head coach Scott Alwin said. "It was wild at times."
The Midshipmen crossed the finish line first, in a fast 5:42.3 aided by strong tailwinds. Columbia pulled into second at 5:45.2, just able to hold off George Washington, 5:46.1, and FIT, 5:46.9.
"That was quality racing for us," Alwin said. "It was a good piece at top 10 speed. It was great preparation for the championship racing coming up."
The second varsity eight also rowed a solid piece, including a good start, a drawback earlier in the season. Although the Lions could not overhaul the faster Navy eight, the race, Alwin noted, allowed them to finish the regular season on a positive note.
Both the third and fourth varsity eights struggled, fighting the conditions as well as the Middies. The fourth varsity, Alwin recalled, had to contend with "the high winds and bad, bumpy water. They had to fight on down the course."
Columbia will adjourn for final exams and graduation, returning to the water Sunday, May 18 for the Eastern Sprints on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass.
The Maxwell Stevenson Cup
(Columbia vs. Navy; Florida Institute of Technology
and George Washington rowing as guests)
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Mercer Lake, West Windsor, N.J.
1. Navy, 5:42.3
2. COLUMBIA, 5:45.2
3. George Washington, 5:46.1
4. FIT, 5:46.9
Second Varsity Eights
1. Navy, 5:53.0
2. COLUMBIA, 5:57.1
3. George Washington, 6:00.2
4. FIT, 6:13.4
Third Varsity Eights
1. Navy, 5:57.3
2. COLUMBIA, 6:12.9
Fourth Varsity Eights
1. Navy, 6:08.3
2. COLUMBIA, 6:24.5
Colin Keane, cox; Emmett Gross, stroke; Connor Jones, 7; Buck Goggin, 6; Alex Barkume, 5; Clemens Auersperg, 4; Ben Coombs, 3; Josh Fram, 2; Matt Ridgeway, bow
Second Varsity Eight
Daniel Hong, cox; Elliot Meade, stroke; Andrew Bair, 7; Daniel Kolbe, 6; Connor Coughlin, 5; Christian Aral, 4; Zach Ellenbogen, 3; Sam Harris, 2; Jonathon Rosow, bow
Third Varsity Eight
Oliver Jennings, cox; Jack Michaud, stroke; John Clapp, 7; Matt Panton, 6; Eitan Rothman, 5; Max Lawton, 4; Max Lindemann, 3; Killian Brackey, 2; Brent Laurint, bow
Fourth Varsity Eight
Andrew Tang, cox; John Sluis, stroke; Nicolaas Woudenberg, 7; Alastair Clements, 6; Tucker Klutey, 5; Rob Cornacchia, 4; Peter Kiernan, 3; Gregory Klumpp, 2; Jake Petterson, bow