WORCESTER, Mass. — Any college rowing coach will tell you, it's really tough to excel in championship competition when your boats are mostly inexperienced in post-season rowing. The young Columbia heavyweights proved that adage Sunday at the EARC Sprints on Lake Quinsigamond, as all three struggled to sub-par finishes in their respective Petite Finals.
   
"It's really hard to win in this league with sophomores," head coach Mike Zimmer said. "Experience plays a huge role."
   
The EARC is justly famous for its competitiveness. "There was very competitive racing here today," Zimmer noted. "Unfortunately, we were on the back end of it."
   
None of the three Columbia heavyweight crews finished better than fourth in their heats, relegating them to Petite Finals. The freshman eight was fifth of six in its Petite, topping Dartmouth, but the varsity and second varsity both were sixth in their Petites.
   
"The first varsity was actually more aggressive in the afternoon Petite Finals than it was in the morning heat," Zimmer said.
   
Although finishing sixth, the varsity Lions were only .030 out of fifth and just two seconds from fourth. One reason could have been the changes the coaches implemented in the varsity during the two weeks following their last regular-season race.
   
One such move was to move junior Ian Winthrop into the stroke seat. "Ian did a good job," Zimmer said.
   
The heavyweights will enter two weeks of training to prepare for the IRA National Championship Regatta, June 2-4 on the Cooper River in Camden County, N.J.
     
The results:

Eastern Sprints (EARC) - heavyweights
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Lake Quinsigamond, Worcester, Mass.

Varsity Eights - Petite Final

1. Yale, 5:46.747
2. Dartmouth, 5:48.057
3. Navy, 5:49.000
4. Cornell, 5:50.060
5. Georgetown, 5:52.750
6. COLUMBIA, 5:52.781
(4th of 6 in Heat)

Second Varsity Eights - Petite Final
1. Cornell, 5:56.759
2. Navy, 6:02.106
3. Dartmouth, 6:05.057
4. Penn, 6:05.718
5. Boston U., 6:08.674
6. COLUMBIA, 6:12.828
(4th of 5 in Heat)

Freshman Eights - Petite Final
1. Brown, 6:02.408
2. Wisconsin, 6:06.094
3. Yale, 6:06.050
4. Syracuse, 6:07.717
5. COLUMBIA, 6:10.205
6. Dartmouth, 6:13.090
(3rd of 5 in Heat)

Today's Boatings at the EARC Sprints

Varsity Eight
Janelle Geddes, cox; Ian Winthrop, stroke; Sam Collins, 7; Mike Donohue, 6; Sebastian Kirwan, 5; Kyle Schmidt, 4; Ryan Jones, 3; Charles Wu, 2;  Noah Whitehead, bow

Second Varsity Eight
Andrew Lake, cox; Mike Rawlings, stroke; Greg Hawxhurst, 7; Forrest Anderson, 6; Christopher Austin, 5; Phillip Fletcher, 4; Erik Schiferle, 3; Tom Olivera, 2; Max Zinner, bow

Freshman Eight

Seungki Lee, cox; Clemens Auersperg, stroke; John Clapp, 7; Connor Jones, 6; Ben Coombs, 5; Nick Sinchak, 4; Matt Lonski, 3; Daniel Kolbe, 2; Brent Laurint, bow