Men’s heavyweight crew could not carry last week’s success at the Olympic Axe into the Blackwell Cup this weekend.

Yale grabbed three of four races against Columbia and Penn but could not pull out a varsity eight win to secure the trophy for the 68th consecutive year in its last home race of the season. Both the freshman eight and freshman four, as well as the 2V eight, snagged decisive victories over the visiting Lions and Quakers, but the varsity eight fell by a little over one second.

“It’s very disappointing to lose a race like this,” head coach John Pescatore said. “But all credit goes to the Lions for rowing a strong piece.”

The Eli varsity boat led the visitors for most of the race, but the Lions walked in the last 250 meters to overtake the home team in the final stretch. The varsity loss is the crew’s third defeat of the season and comes after a strong performance against Dartmouth the previous weekend.

Despite the loss in the final race of the day, the Bulldogs earned solid victories in the first three races by margins of at least eight seconds in each.

“The JV, 3V and freshmen are all very competitive in practice and show noticeable progress each day, so I was glad to see them perform as well as they did,” captain Jack Vogelsang ’08 said. “Obviously it’s tough to have to give away the Blackwell Cup, but the Columbia varsity fought hard in the last 1,000 meters and came through at the end. That’s racing, and they earned it.”

Pescatore chalked up the varsity loss to inefficiency on the part of the varsity eight.

After the loss of the Blackwell Cup, the Bulldogs head into the Carnegie Cup against Princeton and Cornell in New Jersey next weekend.

“This goes to show how thick the competition is in the league this year,” Vogelsang said. “Regarding the Carnegie Cup, we’re looking forward to an exciting race against Princeton and Cornell next weekend.”