This year, the men’s crew teams have a lot to live up to.

The lightweights, national champions in 2005, have the pressure of defending their title. On the other hand, the heavyweight squad has the challenge of returning the Yale program to its storied prominence after frustration last spring. With the results the two crews achieved at the Head of the Charles and this weekend at the Princeton Chase, it seems that they are on track to accomplish their goals.

This weekend at the Princeton Chase, the lightweights came in third in their event, falling behind Penn and Navy. The Elis were out of first place by a mere five seconds.

The heavyweight team had the highest finish of the day, coming in second behind the host Tigers. The second place finish is all the more notable because of the marked improvement the Bulldogs made over the past week. The Elis gained time on every team they faced at the Head of the Charles Oct. 23.

Rowers said one of the reasons for the improvement may have come from a change in the lineup in the varsity boat.

“We had a new lineup with the same personnel and switched around the seats,” captain John Petersen ’06 said. “We figured a few things out in terms of balance and rowing together.”

Even though the fall has little impact on the championship regattas in the spring, both teams have strong finishes to build on. Both have shown that they are capable of being contenders.