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RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. -- As Saturday dawned in Annapolis, Maryland, Columbia and Navy launched men's lightweight boats on the windy Severn River. A few hours later, Delaware's lightweights met Dartmouth and Fordham in Lover's Leap State Park in New Milford, Conn.
    
Before the day was over, Columbia had traveled up to its home course on Overpeck Lake and Delaware had headed south from Connecticut to Overpeck.
    
Which is where they staged a rousing regatta between the two schools, the second full action of the day for both programs.
    
When the final boats had left Overpeck's waters, lightweight head coach Scott Alwin and his crews could look back on a fine day of racing -- victories in both the first and second varsity eights against Navy, and the same two, plus the varsity fours, against Delaware.
    
Alwin wasn't sure what he was going to get at Navy; after all, the lightweights hadn't rowed since facing FIT and Jacksonville's heavyweight eights in Florida last month. But he was quite pleased when the morning session had ended.
    
With a strong crossing tailwind sweeping across the Severn, which can be challenging in a gentle summer breeze, rowing for the Lions became a matter of, as Alwin said, "survival."
    
Columbia held on to a lead through much of the race in beating Navy's first varsity eight by 2.6 seconds, and the second varsity eight by almost seven seconds. A passing boat nearly swamped the boats in one of the fours races.
    
The Lions were even more impressive, against stronger opposition, in the Delaware meet.
    
"Delaware was a solid team," Alwin noted. "The first varsity eight was impressive. If we had not rowed our best race of the year, we would have had a tough time beating Delaware."
    
Scott and his staff had scheduled the doubleheader with Navy and Delaware, as well as Sunday's scrimmage with Mercyhurst, to give the Lions far more race experience. "We had noticed that last year, we didn't have enough experience in racing."
    
The double competitions proved invaluable, Alwin said. "Race after race, we improved every time," he said. "In executing the race plan today, we took an important step. Not just for a few crews, but all of our crews took an important step today.
    
Following the practice "scrimmage" against Mercyhurst Sunday, Columbia will step up in class when it rows against Yale and Penn in the Dodge Cup regatta on the Schuylkill next Saturday.
    
The Navy results:

Columbia vs. Navy
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Severn River, Annapolis, Md.

Varsity Eights
1. Columbia, 5:46.3
2. Navy, 5:50.9

Second Varsity Eights
1. Columbia, 5:53.0
2. Navy, 5:59.9

Third Varsity Eights
1. Navy Third Varsity, 6:01.0
2. Navy First Freshman, 6:01.9
3. Columbia, 6:18.1

Varsity Fours
1. Navy A, 6:55.8
2. Navy B, 6:57.2
3. Columbia, 7:10.2

Today's Boatings:

Varsity Eight
Stone Cao, cox; Anders Smedsrud, stroke; James Winford, 7; Fredrik Aasaaren, 6; Jacob Buczek, 5; John O'Mara, 4; John Zucchi, 3; Blake Pinell, 2; Steven Boyle, bow

Second Varsity Eight
Erica Cunningham, cox; Griffin Whitlock, stroke; Oliver Ingram, 7; Roger Stone, 6; Colin Ross, 5; Curtis Kachline, 4; Matt Bellesheim, 3; Ben Blair, 2; Connor Dougherty, bow

Third Varsity Eight
Matt Coughlin, cox; Connor Murphy, stroke; Chris Hatzis, 7; Fletcher Sims, 6; Andrew Bartholomew, 5; Travis Simon, 4; Darius Grayer, 3; Dan Puttmann, 2; Lane Brokaw, bow

Varsity Four
Marial Quezada, cox; Colm Smith, stroke; Max Segall, 3; Brian McGrattan, 2; Thabet Mahayni, bow

The Delaware results:

Columbia vs. Delaware
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Overpeck Park, Ridgefield Park, N.J.

Varsity Eights
1. Columbia, 6:07.95
2. Delaware, 6:13.55

Second Varsity Eights
1. Columbia, 6:12.95
2. Delaware, 6:29.45

Third Varsity Eights
1. Delaware Freshman Eight, 6:12.84
2. Delaware Second Freshman Eight, 6:30.34
3. Columbia Third Varsity Eight, 6:31.84

Varsity Fours
1. Columbia, 7:27.50
2. Delaware, 7:31.55

Today's Boatings:

Varsity Eight
Stone Cao, cox; Anders Smedsrud, stroke; James Winford, 7; Fredrik Aasaaren, 6; Jacob Buczek, 5; John O'Mara, 4; John Zucchi, 3; Blake Pinell, 2; Steven Boyle, bow

Second Varsity Eight
Erica Cunningham, cox; Griffin Whitlock, stroke; Oliver Ingram, 7; Roger Stone, 6; Colin Ross, 5; Curtis Kachline, 4; Matt Bellesheim, 3; Ben Blair, 2; Connor Dougherty, bow

Third Varsity Eight
Marial Quezada, cox; Connor Murphy, stroke; Chris Hatzis, 7; Fletcher Sims, 6; Andrew Bartholomew, 5; Travis Simon, 4; Darius Grayer, 3; Dan Puttmann, 2; Lane Brokaw, bow

Varsity Four
Yih-Jen Ku, cox; Colm Smith, stroke; Max Segall, 3; Brian McGrattan, 2; Thabet Mahayni, bow


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