It was a clean sweep for Yale’s three crew teams this weekend.

The first varsity boats for the men’s lightweight, men’s heavyweight and women’s squads won their races Saturday, headlining a successful weekend for Eli rowing. The men’s lightweight team captured the Dodge Cup, triumphing over Columbia and Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, the men’s heavyweight team won the first dual meet of the spring, beating Dartmouth, and the women’s squad beat Dartmouth and Boston University to win the Yale Class of ’85 Cup.

On the Schuykill River in Philadelphia, the men’s lightweight crew swept past Columbia and Pennsylvania to capture their ninth-straight Dodge Cup. The first varsity eight turned in a time of 5:45.5, beating Columbia by nearly seven seconds — with Penn a distant third, nearly 20 seconds behind the Yale boat. In addition to the first varsity eight race, the Bulldogs won every other race in the event, including the second and third varsity eight races, the freshman eight and freshman four.

“We were definitely very happy with the result. We have been working really hard every practice,” said Eric Feins ’02, who rows in the first varsity eight. “We are very happy with fact that it is early in the season and we are producing quite a bit of boat speed.”

But Feins admitted that there is a lot more work to be done in order for the Elis to continue the success.

“The victory built our confidence,” Feins said. “At the same time, it is back to the grindstone in terms of preparing to take these next couple of races very seriously.”

The next race for the Elis will be this Sunday against Cornell and Georgetown at home on the Housatonic River.

This past Saturday on the Housatonic, the men’s heavyweight team, in its first dual meet of the season, edged out Dartmouth in the first varsity eight race, posting a time of 5:18.5, only 1.1 seconds better than their Big Green opponents. The Elis won every race in the event, the first they have hosted at the new Gilder Boathouse this spring.

The Bulldogs were aided by a quick start, spotting themselves an early lead. They would never relinquish their advantage, staving off a charging Big Green crew in the final 200 meters of the race.

“We just wanted to go out and have a solid race against a solid team in Dartmouth,” said Todd Moen ’01, who is in the first varsity boat. “We won every race. You can’t ask for more than that.”

The win avenged last year’s loss to Dartmouth, when the Bulldogs finished nine seconds behind the Big Green.

Things will not get any easier for the Elis as a string of quality opponents looms on the horizon. They travel to Philadelphia to take on Penn and Columbia this weekend and will host Princeton and Cornell the following Saturday.

“We have a very challenging schedule,” Moen said. “The bottom line is we need to keep improving our base speed, moving and working together as a crew.”

The women’s crew team was also racing at home this weekend, where it beat Dartmouth and Boston University to win the Yale Class of ’85 Cup. The race was originally scheduled for Hanover, but was moved because Dartmouth’s home course on the Connecticut River was not in racing condition.

In the first varsity eight race, Yale took first place with a time of 6:00.8. Boston University finished in second with a time of 6:04.4, followed by Dartmouth in third at 6:10.2. The Elis also captured the second varsity eight race.

The women will host Princeton Saturday in the Eisenberg Cup.

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