Men’s crew sees mixed results on both coasts

The heavyweight crew team had mixed results against a literal sea of top-class opponents in San Diego’s Mission Bay over the weekend, while the lightweight team enjoyed a win in its first competition of the spring season.

The heavyweight varsity boat headed to San Diego, Calif., to participate in the San Diego Classic. Meanwhile, back on the East Coast, the lightweight men took the Johnson Cup from Navy in Princeton, N.J.

The heavyweights showed their mettle in the qualifying round when they barely missed first place in their heat by three-hundredths of a second, with a time of 5:45:71. UC Berkeley topped the heat, and the Bulldogs found themselves with the third-fastest overall qualifying time in the varsity invitational going into their second race on Sunday morning.

But the competition the next day proved too much for the Elis, who dropped to last place in the Copley Cup with a 5:47.37 time, while fellow Ivies Princeton and Harvard took second and third places, respectively.

The reigning national champions from the University of Washington lived up to their reputations, as the Huskies took first place.

“There were good and bad elements to it,” captain Jack Vogelsang ’08 said. “I felt we struck a pretty good rhythm. We just have to work much harder and focus every single practice on being much more precise.”

The lightweight team’s spring debut in Princeton resulted in the squad’s second win in three years at the Johnson Cup. The varsity boat outmatched the Midshipmen by 5.7 seconds, and the 3V boat notched a victory against the other third varsity boats.

The top freshman boat beat Navy by more than seven seconds and came in at 6:20.50 in its first race of the spring. However, the remaining three boats fell to the fast Navy crew.

“We’re happy to come away with the wins we got this weekend, especially since we were able to take back the Johnson Cup,” seven seat Brendan McCook ’10 said. “But we’re more concerned with continuing to improve up to our championship races at the end of the season.”

Lightweight head coach Andy Card said the season opener served to shake off some rust that built up in the off-season.

“Let’s hope the Red Sox play better in October than they are in April, and we hope to be rowing better in May than we are now,” he said.

With the win under its belt, the lightweight team will make its next appearance in Cambridge, Mass. to take on MIT and Georgetown next weekend.

The heavyweight squad, with it’s mixed results this season, will battle Dartmouth for the Olympic Axe on its home course on the Housatonic next week.

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