WORCESTER, MASS. -- While Columbia's heavyweight rowers utilized the past two weeks for final exams, head coach Mike Zimmer and his staff used them to make major changes in his crews' starting lineups, with an eye to major improvements in time for the Eastern Sprints.
The changes -- more than a dozen in the varsity and second varsity eights alone -- produced immediate results in practice. At the Sprints, however, the improvements were slight.
"We made a bunch of lineup changes and you could see their effect in practice," Zimmer said, "but at the Sprints, we didn't show what we had been doing in practice."
Actually, the Lions' third varsity eight came closest to demonstrating the effect of the changes. The 3V turned its morning heat into a taut battle among the Lions, Northeastern and Navy, just missing the Grand Final.
"The 3V rowed a really great race, but was nipped at the end," Zimmer noted. Navy won the 2000-meter race on Lake Quinsigamond in 6:08.043, followed closely by Northeastern in 6:08.641. Columbia was third in 6:09.225, missing the Grand Final by little more than half a second.
The Columbia eight demonstrated what it could do in the afternoon Petite Final, finishing first of six in 6:25.278, barely ahead of Cornell and Yale, while also topping Harvard, Syracuse and Dartmouth.
The second varsity eight also reached the Petite Final after placing fourth of six in its heat, but was only sixth of six in the Petite, its time of 6:44.263 trailing Cornell, Yale, Syracuse, Penn and Navy.
After excelling in practice, the varsity eight disappointed greatly, its fifth-place finish in the opening heat relegating it to the Third Level Final. There the Lions finally opened up, taking second of six.
But Zimmer remained down about his crews' showing. "The Sprints," he said, "was not representative of what they have done, or what they can do."
EARC Sprints (Eastern Sprints) - heavyweights
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Lake Quinsigamond, Worcester, Mass.
Varsity Eights - Third Level Final
1. Dartmouth, 6:19.236
2. COLUMBIA, 6:23.651
3. Holy Cross, 6:25.842
4. George Washington, 6:35.944
5. Rutgers, 6:41.610
6. MIT, 6:49.365
(5th of 6 in heat)
Second Varsity Eights - Petite Final
1. Cornell, 6:25.136
2. Yale, 6:26.527
3. Syracuse, 6:30.909
4. Penn, 6:36.606
5. Navy, 6:38.367
6. COLUMBIA, 6:44.263
(4th of 6 in heat)
Third Varsity Eights - Petite Final
1. COLUMBIA, 6:25.278
2. Cornell, 6:26.511
3. Yale, 6:27.948
4. Harvard, 6:31.696
5. Syracuse, 6:33.139
6. Dartmouth, 6:35.410
(3rd of 4 in heat)
Today's Heavyweight Boatings:
First Varsity Eight
Second Varsity Eight
Third Varsity Eight