Buffeted by a steady 30-mile per hour wind which swept across the lake, and occasionally gusted to 40 MPH, the heavyweight crews of Columbia, MIT, Dartmouth and Holy Cross battled the conditions as much as they vied with each other, and ultimately lost six of the 12 events when the race official, Reagan Johnston, called a halt to racing for safety reasons.
"This was the worst water I have ever seen in a race here," head coach Scott Alwin said. "I've seen choppy and windy conditions like this in practice, but never in a race."
Columbia was stung most by the cancellation of the Alumni Cup, which goes to the varsity eight winner of its race with MIT. It was not known whether the cup race could be rescheduled.
But the three New England schools lost several races to the cancellation as well, including a varsity eights race between Dartmouth and Holy Cross.
The Lions were successful in the events they did row, winning three of four. They took the varsity eights by 3.1 seconds over a charging Big Green eight, nipped the Green in the second varsity eights by just 8/10 of a second, and won the third varsity eights in another squeaker -- 6:40.2 to 6:42.3, with Holy Cross third in 7:11.1.
They benefited from rowing the varsity and second varsity races early in the morning, before conditions really began to deteriorate. Still, the wind was bad enough to present challenges to all the crews. It wasn't that bad in the first 800 meters, but once they passed the 800 meter mark, they were met by a blast from a jet-powered crosswind.
"I told our teams that you can't win in that kind of wind unless you're tough. They showed that toughness today."
The second and third varsities showed their mettle when both fell behind, and had to battle back against the Big Green. Dartmouth was fighting more than the conditions; due to the ice-bound conditions on their local Connecticut River, they had yet to practice at home this spring.
"We've had more water time than Dartmouth," Alwin pointed out.
The heavyweights will vie with Penn and Princeton for the venerable Childs Cup in Philadelphia next Saturday.
The Alumni Cup
Columbia vs. MIT; Dartmouth and Holy Cross rowing as guests
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Overpeck Lake, Leonia, N.J.
1. Columbia, 5:55.9
2. Dartmouth, 5:59.0
Second Varsity Eights
1. Columbia, 6:28.3
2. Dartmouth, 6:29.1
Third Varsity Eights
1. Columbia, 6:40.2
2. Dartmouth, 6:42.3
3. Holy Cross, 6:53.0
Fourth Varsity Eights
1. Dartmouth, 6:48.9
2. Columbia, 6:51.4
3. Holy Cross, 7:11.1
1. MIT, 6:07.24
2. Holy Cross, 6:10.01
Second Varsity Eights
1. Holy Cross, 6:44.3
2. MIT, 6:59.2
canceled due to weather conditions:
Varsity Eights - Columbia, MIT (Alumni Cup)
Second Varsity Eights - Columbia, MIT
Third Varsity Eights (Re-Row) - Columbia, Dartmouth, Holy Cross
Third/Fourth Varsity Fours - Columbia, MIT
Varsity Eights - Holy Cross, Dartmouth
Second Varsity Eights - Holy Cross, Dartmouth
Today's Columbia's Boatings
Colin Keane, cox; Emmett Gross, stroke; Ben Coombs, 7; Buck Goggin, 6; Alex Barkume, 5; Clemens Auersperg, 4; Connor Jones, 3; Josh Fram, 2; Jonathon Rosow, bow
Second Varsity Eight
Daniel Hong, cox; Daniel Kolbe, stroke; Andrew Bair, 7; Sam Harris, 6; Matt Ridgeway, 5; Christian Aral, 4; Connor Coughlin, 3; Jack Michaud, 2; Zach Ellenbogen, bow
Third Varsity Eight
Oliver Jennings, cox; Matt Panton, stroke; John Clapp, 7; Elliot Meade, 6; James Glynn, 5; Max Lawton, 4; Rob Cornacchia, 3; Alastair Clements, 2; Max Lindemann, bow
Fourth Varsity Eight
Andrew Tang, cox; Brent Laurint, stroke; Tucker Klutey, 7; Eitan Rothman, 6; Nicolaas Woudenberg, 5; Jake Petterson, 4; Killian Brackey, 3; Gregory Klumpp, 2; Peter Kiernan, bow
Third Varsity/Fourth Varsity Four
Debbie Levine, cox; Brent Laurint, stroke; Tucker Klutey, 3; Eitan Rothman, 2; John Sluis, bow