PRINCETON, N.J. -- Everything was falling into place for Columbia's varsity heavyweight eight.
The weather was beautiful, the slight crossing headwind more than manageable. The momentum was all the Lions' -- they had just won a stirring victory over Navy's second varsity eight, after narrowly missing another victory in the third varsity eights. The conditions were perfectly set for Columbia to re-take the Maxwell Stevenson Cup, which the Midshipmen had won in 2011 and 2012.
And then the Stevenson Cup race began, and all that momentum disappeared.
"Navy jumped off the starting line," head coach Mike Zimmer said. "Our rowers were caught off guard. They weren't ready for the intensity of Navy's start."
The Middies started fast, and kept the pace up. Both Columbia and George Washington, rowing as a guest, were soon left in their wake. So forceful was Navy's early going that the entire race, Zimmer estimated, was virtually over just 700 meters into the 2000-meter race on Lake Carnegie.
"I don't think we ever threatened Navy," the coach said.
The second and third varsity eights were entirely different. The 3V went down to the wire, with Navy topping the Lions by just 2.4 seconds. The 2V represented Columbia's only victory.
"The 2V rowed a very gutsy race," the coach said. "They were super aggressive early, then despite a headwind, were aggressive in the middle of the race to take, and hold the lead." Columbia won the race in 6:08.1, three seconds better than the Middies' 6:11.3, with George Washington bring up the rear.
Columbia will regroup and re-claim some of that momentum for the Eastern Sprints May 19 in Worcester, Mass.
Maxwell Stevenson Cup
Columbia vs. Navy (George Washington rowing as a guest)
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Lake Carnegie, Princeton, N.J.
1. Navy, 5:57.2
2. Columbia, 6:01.9
3. George Washington, 6:09.2
Second Varsity Eights
1. Columbia, 6:08.1
2. Navy, 6:11.3
3. George Washington, 6:49.6
Third Varsity Eights
1. Navy, 6:06.9
2. Columbia, 6:09.3
Fourth Varsity Eights
1. Navy, 6:20.4
2. Columbia, 7:08.0
1. George Washington, 6:11.5
2. Navy, 6:14.8
Today’s Columbia Boatings:
First Varsity Eight
Andrew Lake, cox; Buck Goggin, stroke; Alexander Simmonds, 7; Clemens Auersperg, 6; Sam Collins, 5; Mike Donohue, 4; Ben Coombs, 3; Emmett Gross, 2; Matt Ridgeway, bow
Second Varsity Eight
Andrew Tang, cox; Charles Wu, stroke; Noah Whitehead, 7; Elliot Meade, 6; John Clapp, 5; Connor Jones, 4; James Glynn, 3; Daniel Kolbe, 2; Jon Rosow, bow
Third Varsity Eight
Vivian Zhang, cox; Christian Aral, stroke; Phillip Fletcher, 7; Max Lawton, 6; Jack Michaud, 5; Josh Fram, 4; Alex Barkume, 3; Sam Harris, 2; Zach Ellenbogen, bow
Fourth Varsity Eight
Deb Levine, cox; Jake Petterson, stroke; Max Lindemann, 7; Brent Laurint, 6; Rob Cornacchia, 5; Max Segall, 4; Eric Holst, 3; Nick Hesselgrave, 2; Ben Charley, bow