HEAVYWEIGHT CREW | Elis win three, but lose Blackwell Cup

Saturday’s race against Columbia was one of mixed success for the Yale heavyweight crew.

Yale’s heavyweight crews won three out of four races against Columbia and Penn at Columbia’s Orchard Beach course. However, in varsity eight race, which decides the cup, the Lions topped the Bulldogs to ensure that the Blackwell Cup stays in New York for a second straight year. Columbia took possession of the cup last year for the first time in 67 years.

“The varsity eight was the closest of the day, with Columbia over Yale by 2.8 seconds,” head coach John Pescatore said. “Columbia has a strong crew.”

The evening’s racing kicked off at 6:10 p.m. with the Yale third varsity boat beating Penn by a margin of 13.5 seconds, 6:16.8 to 6:30.3.The Yale freshmen followed this victory with a time of 6:05.5, 6.2 seconds ahead of the second-place Quakers and 12.1 seconds ahead of the third-place Lions. These two wins were matched in the second varsity race, with the Bulldogs rowing to a victory with a time of 6:07.0 to Penn’s 6:15.8 and the Quakers’ 6:18.0.

Ben Ortiz ’11, who is on the second varsity crew, said he was pleased with the results.

“I’m only a sophomore,” he said, “So I’m pretty happy that we beat Columbia.”

In the last event of the evening, the varsity race for the Blackwell Cup, the Bulldogs fell to Columbia by a margin of 2.8 seconds, 5:54.0 to 5:56.8. Penn finished third in the race with a time of 6:07.8.

Despite the loss of the cup, Pescatore remained positive about the overall results.

“Our team is a determined group — I’m certain they will never stop working to get faster,” he said.

Ortiz conceded that next week’s race against Princeton will be a tough one.

“It’s going to be pretty challenging,” he said. “Princeton’s JV is beating their varsity, and they’ll be pretty tough. If we beat Princeton, it’s a great sign for the future.”

The heavyweight crew will head to Ithaca, N.Y., to face Cornell and Princeton for the Carnegie Cup on Saturday. It will be the Bulldogs’ last race before Eastern Sprints on May 10.

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