This weekend the freshman rowers traveled to Princeton to make their Ivy League debut at the Belly of the Carnegie Regatta.

The Yale men’s crew team’s mixed boats of recruited freshmen and walk-ons both competed in the three-mile headrace.

The heavyweight men finished eighth and ninth with times of 15:49.94 and 15:51.70 respectively. Princeton won the race, finishing in 14:57.37.

“Both of our boats finished two seconds apart from each other, which proves the integrity of our coach putting together even eights,” heavyweight crew team member John Petersen ’06 said. “Our coach has been emphasizing the importance of rowing tough and strong. I think that we accomplished this goal.”

The Bulldogs finished behind Harvard and Princeton, who both took advantage of their larger pools of freshmen recruits to race two boats of experienced rowers instead of mixing each boat as Yale had done.

Though the heavyweights have consistently lost to their lightweight counterparts in competition this fall, it appears that their rigorous practice schedule combined with their intense new coaching staff has paid off.

“In the past weeks our freshman heavyweight boats have been struggling to keep up with the freshman lightweights, but this weekend we ended up beating them at the Belly by over 30 seconds,” Petersen said. “The fierce competition between both the heavyweights and the lightweights on the water is good for the overall program — the faster the lightweights race the faster we are going to be because of the competition at practice.”

The lightweight men finished in the middle of the pack, placing seventh and ninth with times of 16:24.55 and 16:40.08. Yale finished about a minute and a half behind first place finisher Cornell.

“I feel like we did not have our best performance in Princeton, but that is what you get with freshman racing,” lightweight freshmen head coach Eric Carcich said. “Most of the time the results are inconsistent due to the inexperience of the squad — it was a good learning experience no matter what the results show.”

For now, Carcich is satisfied with the experience his rookies have gained this fall and stressed the importance of improving individual skills in the fall so that his team would be on the same page in the spring.

“We learned a lot in the head wind conditions and are ready to move indoors in preparation for the spring season,” Carcich said.

The Belly of the Carnegie Regatta was the last race of the fall season, and the Yale crew teams will now head indoors to start their winter training.