The men’s heavyweight crew team has had a tough season so far.

With a solid victory over Dartmouth on April 12, the Bulldogs retained the Olympic Axe, but the crew has since handed over two trophies that have adorned the Gilder Boathouse for at least a year. Columbia grabbed the Blackwell Cup last weekend and the Elis dropped four of five races this Saturday against Princeton and Cornell to see the Carnegie Cup reside in Princeton, N.J., for at least the next year.

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The Bulldogs’ varsity eight came in a full five seconds behind the leading Tigers and 2.3 seconds behind the second-place Big Red. This marks the varsity boat’s third consecutive loss this season.

“Princeton and Cornell are strong crews across the board,” captain Jack Vogelsang ’08 said. We expected tough races, and that’s what we got.”

The 2V squad dropped behind both Cornell and Princeton, as well. But the 3V and first freshman boats managed second-place finishes.

The sole Yale victors of the weekend were the men of the second freshman eight, who topped Cornell by 3.1 seconds. The squad is also the only undefeated boat of the entire crew.

After another tough weekend, the heavyweights will have a three-week reprieve before Eastern Sprints on May 18 in Worcester, Mass.

“There is a level of parity in this year’s Eastern Sprints league that is unprecedented,” Erik Woebler ’09 wrote in an e-mail. “As we’ve seen in our racing season this year, the margin between victory and defeat is quite slim. As a result, this year’s Eastern Sprints will be highly competitive and the next three weeks will be intense for any team with medal prospects.”

Vogelsang said the team is well prepared for Eastern Sprints.

“We now know how quick our competition will be at the Eastern Sprints in a few weeks, but we also know exactly what we need to do to be ready,” Vogelsang said. “I’m confident in every one of the guys on this team and in our ability to prepare for the league and national championships.”