BOSTON, Mass. -- Northeastern once led the Woodbury Cup series, four races to one, but Columbia Women's Rowing has fought back. Its victory today was its fourth in the last five regattas, and evened the Cup series at 5-5.
"Evening the series," head coach Scott Ramsey said, "meant a lot to us."
Taking advantage of unusually good weather on the Charles River, Columbia got off to a good start in the varsity eights race. Northeastern threatened, but Columbia extended its lead, and continued to extend it.
Although the Lions had suffered from lack of speed in the body of races this spring, there was little evidence of that in the Woodbury Cup. "We were excited that they were executing the race plan so well," Ramsey said.
Columbia won going away, in 6:56.1, seven seconds better than Northeastern.
The Lion second varsity virtually copied the 1V, getting off to a good start and extending its lead.
"That was the best speed they have shown in the body of the race," Ramsey said. "They kept pulling away from Northeastern." The Lions won by six seconds, in 7:06.0.
"That was a great performance," the coach said. "They did a great job."
The varsity four also rowed well, but Northeastern was a good deal better in notching the win. The Lions rowed hard, and were able to hold off Northeastern B for second place by two seconds.
The Woodbury Cup is always an emotional event. The first cup ever established by Columbia Women's Rowing, it was inaugurated in the spring of 2005, established by her teammates in memory of Melanie "Mel" Woodbury '96BC, 1996 Columbia captain and MVP. A native of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, Woodbury was living in Seattle with her boyfriend and their son when she traveled back to Idaho for her sister's wedding. Returning from the wedding in December 2002, she was killed in an automobile accident in Ritzville, Wash.
Several of Mel's teammates attended the race and two, Barnard graduates Maggie Sullivan and Naomi Ko, spoke to the team, both at its pre-race dinner and at the Cup presentation.
"They spoke about Melanie," Scott Ramsey said. "About who she was, and why founding the Cup was so important. They put the race in perspective for the young women competing in the race."
"It was an emotional boost for our rowers."
Columbia will travel to South Carolina next week for the Clemson Invitational, which will run both Saturday and Sunday in Clemson, S.C.
The Woodbury Cup
April 12, 2014
Charles River, Boston
1. Columbia, 6:56.1
2. Northeastern, 7:03.2
Second Varsity Eights
1. Columbia, 7:06.0
2. Northeastern, 7:12.1
1. Northeastern A, 7:59.6
2. Columbia, 8:13.0
3. Northeastern B, 8:15.0
Aneesha Baliga, cox; Colleen Condon, stroke; Lottie Galliano, 7; Karli McMenamin, 6; Jocelyn Bohn, 5; Madeline O'Brien, 4; Kellie Solowski, 3; Sara Hyten, 2; Kaitlyn Loftus, bow
Second Varsity Eight
Erica Glaser, cox; Emerald Smith, stroke; Giovanna Crozier-Fitzgerald, 7; Emily Ball, 6; Alexandra Swift, 5; Carly Tashjian, 4; Maia Claman, 3; Elena McGahey, 2; India Knight, bow
Allison Lavine, cox; Maggie DeVlieger, stroke; Hilary Going, 3; Linda Blanken, 2; Hayley Weil, bow