Onondaga is well known for its poor weather conditions, and Columbia had trained all week for high winds and rough water. Anticipating just those conditions on Saturday, race officials moved the competition to Friday. They avoided Onondaga at its worst, but still were faced with strong winds and rough water.
"We actually handled the rough water pretty well," head coach Mike Zimmer said. "We were quite a bit better." After the Lions' poor showing on the Housatonic last Saturday, Columbia had practiced for rough-water conditions all week.
The Lions actually got off to a good start on the roughest part of the course, going out even with Syracuse and B.U. They were still even after 750 meters.
It was then, Zimmer recalled, "that Syracuse and B.U. pushed out, and we went off our cadence. We lost a little rhythm."
Columbia fought back in the third 500, moving up on both crews. But down the stretch, the Terriers and Orangemen matched each other with high cadences, and the Lions were unable to keep up. Boston U., ranked sixth nationally, sped across the finish line first in 5:46.7. followed by the eighth-ranked Orange, 1.8 seconds back in 5:48.5. Columbia was third in 5:55.5.
The second varsity also showed much improvement in wind-tossed water, but was unable to keep up with the other two crews. The revamped 2V lineup, hit hard by injuries the past two weeks, also began well, as their varsity counterparts had done, but saw the race get away in the second 500.
Columbia's freshman eight acquitted itself well in beating Syracuse by 5.3 seconds. The Lions could not stay with the Little Terriers, though, as one of the nation's top-ranked freshman eights won by 10 seconds.
"We rowed better than last week," Zimmer said, "but our young guys are not used to competing at this level. We have to be better in the second 500, and we have to be more aware of how the race is developing." The Lion varsity is a young squad, with five newcomers seeing their first EARC competition.
Columbia concludes the regular season next week in the Maxwell Stevenson Cup against Navy. It will be rowed at Princeton Saturday April 30, in the afternoon, time to be determined.
The Doc Lusins Trophy (for winner of Columbia-Boston U. competition)
Columbia, Syracuse, Boston University
April 22, 2011
Onondaga Lake, Syracuse, N.Y.
1. Boston U., 5:46.7
2. Syracuse, 5:48.5
3. Columbia, 5:55.5
Second Varsity Eights
1. Boston U., 5:58.3
2. Syracuse, 6:01.7
3. Columbia, 6:13.9
1. Boston U., 5:52.7
2. Columbia, 6:02.9
3. Syracuse, 6:08.2
Today's Boatings at Syracuse with B.U.:
Janelle Geddes, cox; Sam Collins, stroke; Mike Donohue, 7; Sebastian Kirwan, 6; Ian Winthrop, 5; Noah Whitehead, 4; Greg Hawxhurst, 3; Mike Rawlings, 2; Charles Wu, bow
Second Varsity Eight
Andrew Lake, cox; Ryan Jones, stroke; Matt Celano, 7; Forrest Anderson, 6; Kyle Schmidt, 5; Phillip Fletcher, 4; Erik Schiferle, 3; Tom Olivera, 2; Christopher Austin, bow
Seungki Lee, cox; Connor Jones, stroke; Ben Coombs, 7; Clemens Auersperg, 6; Matt Lonski, 5; Nick Sinchak, 4; Brent Laurint, 3; Daniel Kolbe, 2; John Clapp, bow