Heavyweights Celebrate Great Rowing Conditions with Great Results, Sweeping Collins Cup
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- On a nearly perfect day for rowing, the Columbia heavyweights rowed three nearly perfect races, sweeping Rutgers in all three to retain the Collins Cup.
The race marked a return to Columbia's venerable old Harlem River Racecourse for the first time since 2010. Dozens of fans turned out in high-50's temperatures, light breezes, and near-cloudless skies to see the Lions and the Scarlet Knights renew a rivalry dating back to the 1870's.
Showing the effects of two winter training sessions in Florida, Columbia topped the rusty Scarlet Knights in three races: by 23.76 seconds in the first varsity eights, by 32.9 seconds in the second varsity eights, and by 16.2 seconds in the third race, which pitted Columbia's third varsity eight against Rutgers' freshman eight.
"This was a good showing by all of our crews," head coach Mike Zimmer said. "All three rowed very aggressive races. The conditions were great -- flat water for the varsity race, little headwind. The 2V and 3V had fast times because they rowed in following tides."
3V? Columbia has a third varsity eight?
"We almost have four eights competing," the coach noted. "That's a result of freshman eligibility this year, for the first time in men's rowing.
"The freshmen", he continued, "have brought our level of rowing up."
The Lions started two freshmen in the varsity eight, Emmett Gross in the sixth seat and Alex Barkume in the third. "They are really quality oarsmen, Zimmer said, "but we have a number of freshmen who can row varsity. They have brought our level up. Competition for the second and third varsities is so much more intense.
"We have been looking at a lot of different combos. We're still looking for the right combo; we're still sorting them out."
The Lions head to Massachusetts next Saturday for the Alumni Cup regatta. Always Columbia vs. MIT, it added Dartmouth and Holy Cross to the competition last season. Rather than the Charles River, as usual, the regatta will be held at Holy Cross's home course -- also the home of the Eastern Sprints -- Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester.   
The results:

The Collins Cup
Columbia vs. Rutgers
March 30, 2013
Harlem River Racecourse, New York City

Varsity Eights
1. Columbia, 6:06.6
2. Rutgers, 6:30.4

Second Varsity Eights
1. Columbia, 5:56.1
2. Rutgers, 6:29.0

Third Varsity Eights
1. Columbia, 5:43.0
2. Rutgers, 5:59.2

Today's Boatings:

Varsity Eight
Andrew Lake, cox; Buck Goggin, stroke; Alexander Simmonds, 7; Emmett Gross, 6; Sam Collins, 5; Mike Donohue, 4; Alex Barkume, 3; Clemens Auersperg, 2; James Glynn, bow

Second Varsity Eight
Vivian Zhang, cox; Elliott Meade, stroke; John Clapp, 7; D.J. Dlesk, 6; Charles Wu, 5; Josh Fram, 4; Ben Coombs, 3; Connor Jones, 2; Noah Whitehead, bow

Third Varsity Eight
Andrew Tang, cox; Sam Harris, stroke; Jack Michaud, 7; Daniel Kolbe, 6; Phillip Fletcher, 5; Max Lawton, 4; Matt Ridgeway, 3; Christian Aral, 2; Zach Ellenbogen, bow