PRINCETON, N.J. -- The Columbia varsity heavyweights saw their string of consecutive victories in cup races snapped at three as they fell to Princeton and Penn in the Childs Cup regatta on Lake Carnegie.
The combination of strong rows from the Tigers and Quakers, plus a fierce headwind that attacked both the waters of Lake Carnegie, and the shells navigating on them, proved too much for the Lions.
After winning the Governor's Cup in Florida, the Collins Cup at Rutgers, and the Alumni Cup at Orchard Beach, Columbia finished third of three in the only two races it entered, the varsity and freshman eights.
"Princeton took control of the varsity eights race immediately," head coach Mike Zimmer said. "There was a pretty strong headwind, but Princeton handled it. They led from stroke one."
That left Columbia and Penn to fight it out for second.
"Penn had a better start," Zimmer said, "and was able to take control after the tenth stroke. They had a good advantage all the way. We were able to make inroads in their lead later in the race, but couldn't catch them."
Princeton won easily in 6:27.3, 13 seconds ahead of Penn. Columbia narrowed the gap at the end of the race, falling to Penn by 1.9 seconds, 6:40.6 to 6:42.5.
Columbia's freshmen also fell well behind Princeton, but made a race of it with Penn.
 "We had a shaky start," Zimmer said. "We fell back by a lot in the first 200 meters."
The Lions made up the margin, racing with the Quakers all through the middle 1000 meters.
"We couldn't maintain a consistent speed," the coach said. "Sometimes we rowed really well, sometimes we didn't." The Lions finished just 2.3 seconds behind the Quakers.
Columbia gets another shot at Penn next week, meeting the Quakers and Yale Saturday in the Blackwell Cup regatta in New Jersey's Overpeck County Park. Racing is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
Today's results:

The Childs Cup
Columbia, Princeton, Penn
April 7, 2012
Lake Carnegie, Princeton, N.J.

Varsity Eights

1. Princeton, 6:27.3
2. Penn, 6:40.6
3. Columbia, 6:42.5

Second Varsity Eights
1. Princeton, 6:40.5
2. Princeton 3V, 6:44.7
3. Penn, 6:50.1
Note: Columbia did not enter this race

Freshman Eights
1. Princeton, 6:23.6
2. Penn, 6:35.5
3. Columbia, 6:37.8

Today's Boatings:

Varsity Eight
Janelle Geddes, cox; Connor Jones, stroke; Charles Wu, 7; Mike Donohue, 6; Sam Collins, 5; Clemens Auersperg, 4; Ben Coombs, 3; Daniel Kolbe, 2; Noah Whitehead, bow

Freshman Eight

Alex Xu, cox; Zach Ellenbogen, stroke; Buck Goggin, 7; James Glynn, 6; Connor Murphy, 5; Rob Cornacchia, 4; D.J. Dlesk, 3; Max Lindemann, 2; Sam Harris, bow