BOSTON, Mass. -- Head coach Scott Ramsey had strong hopes for his women's rowers in their first road trip of the spring, expecting them to apply lessons learned after last week's Connell Cup to this week's Woodbury Cup regatta. But the only word Ramsey uttered after his crews rowed in the Charles River regatta was "disappointing."
"We were disappointing," a glum Ramsey said after Columbia had been swept by Dartmouth and lost the Woodbury Cup to Northeastern on a frigid Saturday morning. "We didn't make the changes [needed] after our previous weekend. Instead, we made pretty similar mistakes."
Ramsey paused. "It's back to the drawing board," he said. "We have to do a lot of selection this week."
Many of the Lions' errors were evident in the varsity eights race. Columbia and Northeastern were rowing for the Woodbury Cup,  inaugurated in the spring of 2005, established by her teammates in memory of Melanie "Mel" Woodbury '96BC, 1996 Columbia captain and MVP, who was killed in an automobile accident in December 2002. Dartmouth was rowing as a guest.
The Big Green jumped off to a great start and soon outdistanced Columbia. "We were outclassed by Dartmouth, start to finish," Ramsey said.
The Lions stayed a lot closer to Northeastern, but never overtook the Huskies.
"Northeastern took a slight advantage and held it for the body of the race," the coach recalled. "We overlapped with them, we were as close as four seats down, but we never pushed into their margin. We never had a significant push into that margin!"
Northeastern closed on Dartmouth by race's end, drawing within 4/10 of a second at the end, but Columbia could not close on Northeastern, ultimately losing by five seconds. After Columbia had won the Woodbury Cup in both 2010 and 2011, the Huskies took it back this year.
The Lions fared better against Northeastern in the day's three other races, but trailed Dartmouth in each.
In the second varsity eights, Columbia got off to a good start, a full length lead off the starting line. It maintained that margin through the first 750 meters of the 2000-meter race on the Charles River, and still held a slight lead as the race entered its final 500 meters.
The Big Green smelled victory at that point. "They really poured it on," Ramsey said, "but we slowed down. That was disappointing; we have to learn to execute the last 500."
Columbia was timed in 6:42.6, 2.2 seconds behind Dartmouth, but well ahead of NE's 6:55.5.
In comparison, the two varsity fours both fell behind early, going well down after the first 700-800 meters. "We were never able to put ourselves in a position to win," Ramsey lamented.
Columbia travels to Princeton next week to compete as a guest in the Class of 1975 Cup regatta with the host Tigers, Radcliffe and Cornell.
"We'd better learn from our mistakes and get ready for that," Ramsey said. "We have to turn the lessons from this into wins. We've got the experience and the athletes to do it, but wins are not going to happen automatically."
The results of the Woodbury Cup regatta:

The Woodbury Cup
Columbia vs. Northeastern, Dartmouth rowing as a guest
March 31, 2012
Charles River, Boston, Mass.

Varsity Eights

1. Dartmouth, 6:29.3
2. Northeastern, 6:29.7
3. Columbia, 6:34.8

Second Varsity Eights
1. Dartmouth, 6:40.4
2. Columbia, 6:42.6
3. Northeastern, 6:55.5

Varsity Fours, A
1. Dartmouth, 7:36.3
2. Columbia, 7:40.8
3. Northeastern, 7:45.9

Varsity Fours, B
1. Dartmouth, 7:51.8
2. Columbia, 7:52.6
3. Northeastern, 8:02.7

Today's Boatings:

Varsity Eight
Stephanie Ngai, cox; Rebecca Randall, stroke; Samantha Warren, 7; Nikki Bourassa, 6; Alexandra Delaney, 5; Lily Keane, 4; Lottie Galliano, 3; Bailey Griswold, 2; Fiona Duffy, bow

Second Varsity Eight
Gabrielle Barilla, cox; McKenzie Largay, stroke; Karli McMenamin, 7; Sara Romano, 6; Katherine Bergstrom, 5; Kellie Solowski, 4; Natalie Rutherford, 3; Hilary Going, 2; Alexandra Swift, bow

Varsity Four A
Clare Hua, cox; Jessica Werlin, stroke; Jocelyn Bohn, 3; Caitlin Shufelt, 2; Louisa Mink, bow

Varsity Four B
Anais Rodriguez-Thompson, cox; Sylvie Krekow, stroke; Amelia Brunner, 3; Nikki Tomm, 2; Sara Hyten, bow